Programming and Data Types    

Operating System Compatibility

This section covers the following topics:

Executing O/S Commands from MATLAB

To execute a command from your operating system prompt without having to exit MATLAB, precede the command with the MATLAB ! operator.

On Windows, you can add an ampersand (&) to the end of the line to make the output appear in a separate window.

For more information: See Running External Programs in the MATLAB "Development Environment" documentation, and the system and dos function reference pages

Searching Text with grep

grep is a powerful tool for performing text searches in files on UNIX systems. To grep from within MATLAB, precede the command with an exclamation point (!grep).

For example, to search for the word warning, ignoring case, in all M-Files of the current directory, you would use

Constructing Path and File Names

Use the fullfile function to construct path names and filenames rather than entering them as strings into your programs. In this way, you always get the correct path specification, regardless of which operating system you are using at the time.

Finding the MATLAB Root Directory

The matlabroot function returns the location of the MATLAB installation on your system. Use matlabroot to create a path to MATLAB and toolbox directories that does not depend on a specific platform or MATLAB version.

The following example uses matlabroot with fullfile to return a platform-independent path to the general toolbox directory:

Temporary Directories and Filenames

If you need to locate the directory on your system that has been designated to hold temporary files, use the tempdir function. tempdir returns a string that specifies the path to this directory.

To create a new file in this directory, use the tempname function. tempname returns a string that specifies the path to the temporary file directory, plus a unique filename.

For example, to store some data in a temporary file, you might issue the following command first.

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