Getting to Know the MATLAB Environment

The appearance of the basic MATLAB environment will look slightly different depending on which version of MATLAB you have installed. However, all versions contain the same basic parts:

  • Command window/prompt - prompt for entering MATLAB commands and displaying output
  • Working directory - current directory containing files you can work with in MATLAB
  • Details - shows the details of a selection in the current working directory
  • Workspace - shows the values of all variables currently stored in MATLAB
  • Command History - a history of commands entered into the command prompt

These basic parts of the environment are highlighted in the pictures below for MATLAB versions 2011a and 2013b.

MATLAB Environment - 2013bMATLAB Environment - 2011a

The MATLAB environment can be customized by hiding various parts or combining them into one section by clicking with the left mouse button on the title of a particular part and dragging it into the location of another. However, I would recommend keeping the default layout of the environment if you are a beginner.

With your new understanding of the parts of the MATLAB command window, you are now ready to do your first math calculations in it! We introduce how to do this in the next part of this tutorial series: MATLAB as a Calculator.

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