Matlab display string

Matlab display string DEFAULT

The fprintf function

The fprintf function is used for printing information to the screen. The fprintf function prints an array of characters to the screen:

We often use the fprintf statement to show the user information stored in our variables. To "place" a number into this string of printed characters we use several formatting options, but they all start with a % sign. It should noted that when used in this way, the % is not the comment character.

Below are several examples of printing information from variables using fprintf. Notice the use of %s to print a string, and %d to print an integer, and %f to print a number with a decimal (a floating point number). The Value of each variable is "plugged into" the appropriate format string at the appropriate location as marked by the % sign in the string

Again, the '%' notation in this case is not a comment, but is the "formating" of the string.

When using the % signs to print out the data stored in variables, we must use the same number of % signs as the number of variables.

Some common format options:

  • %s - print a string
  • %c - print a single character
  • %d - print a whole number
  • %f - print a floating point number
  • \n - print a new line (go to the next line to continue printing)
  • \t - print a tab
  • \\ - print a slash
  • %% - print a percent sign

Above, the example "%.2f" is given. By putting a decimal point and a number in the format command, you are telling the program to print only two decimal places. This is perfect for printing dollar amounts, where we don't care about 1/1000 ths of a cent.

For more information, try "doc fprintf"

Alternative ways to print information

The following ways to "print" information are also available in Matlab, but are "frowned" upon, except for rapid debugging of a program.

  1. The display command:

    • disp is a function that will display a value
    • name = 'Jim';
    • disp(name);
    • alternative to the fprintf statement.
    • prefer to use fprintf as we control theFormatting
  2. Removing the ;

    Simply removing the ';' semicolon from the variable assignment:

    • forget the ';'
    • Do not use this option, except for quick debugging

Again, please note: fprintf is the preferred method

Any time you print information, you should make sure it is of interest to the user of the program every time the code is run.. For example a function that compute pi should never use fprintf. Instead, such a function should return the value of pi for use by other parts of the program. If this approximated value of pi is of interest to the user, then the main program can print the result.

Proper use of fprintf to display the result of a function

Improper use of fprintf to display the result of a function

Notice how the second example prints "the sum is XX" every time the add function is called. In a program that adds millions of numbers, this would become quite annoying very quickly.

It is very important NOT to use fprintf in a function when the reason for using the function is to compute a value for the computer to use. It is very annoying to have miscellaneous printouts from un-related functions, when trying to compute a final value.

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displays the value of variable without printing the variable name. Another way to display a variable is to type its name, which displays a leading “” before the value.

If a variable contains an empty array, returns without displaying anything.


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Display Variable Values

Create a variable with numbers and another variable with text.

A = [15 150]; S = 'Hello World.';

Display the value of each variable.

Display Matrix with Column Labels

Display a matrix and label the columns as , , and .

X = rand(5,3); disp(' Corn Oats Hay')
0.8147 0.0975 0.1576 0.9058 0.2785 0.9706 0.1270 0.5469 0.9572 0.9134 0.9575 0.4854 0.6324 0.9649 0.8003

Display Hyperlink in Command Window

Display a link to a Web page by including HTML hyperlink code as input to . For example, display a link to the MathWorks® Web site.

X = '<a href = "">MathWorks Web Site</a>'; disp(X)

Display Multiple Variables on Same Line

Here are three ways to display multiple variable values on the same line in the Command Window.

Concatenate multiple character vectors together using the operator. Convert any numeric values to characters using the function. Use to display the result.

name = 'Alice'; age = 12; X = [name,' will be ',num2str(age),' this year.']; disp(X)
Alice will be 12 this year.

Use to create text, and then display it with .

name = 'Alice'; age = 12; X = sprintf('%s will be %d this year.',name,age); disp(X)
Alice will be 12 this year.

Use to directly display the text without creating a variable. However, to terminate the display properly, you must end the text with the newline () metacharacter.

name = 'Alice'; age = 12; fprintf('%s will be %d this year.\n',name,age);
Alice will be 12 this year.

Extended Capabilities

Thread-Based Environment
Run code in the background using MATLAB® or accelerate code with Parallel Computing Toolbox™ .

This function fully supports thread-based environments. For more information, see Run MATLAB Functions in Thread-Based Environment.

Introduced before R2006a

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How to Display a Value in a MATLAB String

By David Wayne

MATLAB's cell arrays allow you to enter mixed data types into a single data store.

MATLAB offers many flexible tools for analyzing numbers, and MATLAB strings help you understand what the numbers mean. Printing a string array above a table of numerical values, for example, can help you quickly make sense of the column and row information. MATLAB offers several ways to display the value of strings, string arrays and character arrays, which causes a word or several words to print out on the screen. Strings can contain number values, although they won't be in a form suitable for arithmetic.

Create a string by typing a variable name, followed by the assignment operator and the string value surrounded by single quotes. For example, in the Command window, type the following, then press "Enter":

name = 'James';

Type the variable name to print the string value as well as the variable name you just typed. For example, typing “name” prints the line “name='James'” in the Command window.

Type the following to display the value of “name” without printing “name=” in front:


The “disp” function also works with string literals, so typing “disp('James')” will have the same result.

Display a more complicated string with the “fprintf” function. For example, create another string variable by typing the following:

color = 'red';

To display the value of these strings using “fprintf,” type:

output = fprintf('%s likes the color %s.\n', name, color);

This prints “James likes the color red.” The “%s” symbols are the conversion characters that map, in order, to the string arguments passed to the “fprintf” function. The string must end with the newline character “\n”; otherwise, the subsequent output prints on the same line.

Convert a numeric value to a string with the “num2str” function in order to display other data types as strings. For example, create an integer variable by typing the following:

height = 180;

Print a string array in the Command window by typing the following:

output = [name, ' is ', num2str(height), ' cm tall.']

Display the value of “height” with the “fprintf” function by typing:

output = fprintf('%s is %d cm tall.\n', name, height);

The “%d” symbol maps the integer value to the output. Executing this command prints “James is 180 cm tall.”



  • Use “fprintf” to display string values in an external file with an overridden version of the function. Open a file by typing “id = fopen(filename)” (without the quotes), passing the name of a file to “fopen”. Display a string in the file by typing the following:
  • fprintf(id, '%s is %d cm tall.\n', name, height);

Writer Bio

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.


MATLAB Display String

  1. Displaying a String Using the Function in MATLAB
  2. Display a String Using Function in MATLAB

This tutorial will introduce how to use the and function to display a string in MATLAB.

Displaying a String Using the Function in MATLAB

You can use the function to display a string in MATLAB. For example, let’s display a variable containing a string. See the below code.


In the above code, we display a variable which contains a string. We can also join multiple strings in an array and display them using the function. See the below code.


Make sure to change every variable to to avoid errors.

Display a String Using Function in MATLAB

You can use the function to display a string in MATLAB. For example, let’s display a variable containing a string in MATLAB. See the below code.


We can format the variable and then display it using the function just like the in the language. For example, let’s format a floating-point number using the function. See the below code.


In the above code, we display a floating-point number up to two decimal places.


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