M – Files in MATLAB
MATLAB provides a feature to store a sequence of statements in a file and execute these statements at the MATLAB prompt exactly as if have typed each command sequentially. Such files are called M-files or script files because they contain file extensions as ‘.m’. M-files are basically text files where we can place our MATLAB commands. These files can be created using any word processing function or any editor. If we have two m-files with the same name, then MATLAB will execute the statements from the file that appears first in the path order. M-files will be very productive and efficient as well as time-saving.
Types of M-files :
- Script files
- Function Files
Script files: It is an external file comprising a sequence of MATLAB statements with the file extension ‘.m’. These files are also known as M-files. To execute the statements in the file, type the name of the m-file at the MATLAB prompt. The variables in a script file are global which allows modification in the value of variables of the same name in the environment of the current MATLAB session. M-files neither accept any input nor do they return any output rather they operate on data in the workspace.
Function files: Functions are subprograms in the main program that perform a specific task. Functions are M-files that accept input and return output. Make sure that the name of M-files and functions should be the same. Variables in a function file are local by default, but we can declare a variable global.
Methods to Create M-file:
Method 1: Creating M-file using MATLAB editor :
- Choose New -> Script. The opens up a text editor.
- Type the commands and save the file with the extension ‘program1.m’ by selecting the Save option.
- Type the name of the script in the command window or click the Run command to execute the M-file.
- The output gets displayed in the command window.
>> program1: 767500
Method 2: Creating M-file using Command Window:
- Type the command edit or edit file name in the command window to open an editor. It will ask you to create a new file if it does not exist. Click Yes.
- It will open a M-file with the specified file name. Here it has created “program2.m”.
- Type the commands to be executed.
- Run the M-file either by clicking on the Run button or typing the M-file name on the Command window.
>> program2 56.6667
Method 3: Creating M-file using Live Editor:
- Select the LIVE EDITOR menu and click New-> Live Script.
- It will automatically create a file with the name ‘untitled.mlx’ extension.
- Type your commands in the editor.