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How to clear the command window in MATLAB?

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Matrix Laboratory or MATLAB is a programming language and numeric computing environment developed by MathWorks. It is a major software used by millions of engineers and scientists for multiple applications such as machine learning, deep learning, signal processing, image, video processing, signal communications, control systems, computational biology, and more.

Matlab includes Simulink — used primarily for graphical programming — and two types of editors. It is a convenient tool with easy commands, which make working in a given space much easier. With clc the command window can be cleared every time the user runs their code.

MATLAB Command Window explained

The Command Window is always open by default and allows the user to enter and run individual statements at the command line (>>) and view the results. Consider the example below to store the value 25 in a variable A and then display it in the next line.

Assigning the value 25 to variable A in command window and displaying it

The normal or live editor is used where multiple lines of code need to be written. In such a case, the command window isn’t used for execution exactly.

Still, it is the key tool for entering data, running any specific Matlab function, and running any either .m or .mlx files. The output results in the case of .m files (Normal editor) are also viewed on the command window, whereas in .mlx files (Live script editor), the command window is used only for taking the inputs; the output is shown in the editor itself.

Also read: What is Tmux and how to use it?

How to clear the Command Window in MATLAB?

The command used for clearing the command window is clc. There are three ways this command can be used: directly, using the standard or live script editor.


Directly type clc in the command window in front of the prompt and click on the Enter key.

Command Window before the clc command is given

This clears the command window.

Command window after the clc command is given

Using the Editor (Standard and Live Script)

If you’re coding in the normal editor, the command clc can be written at the beginning of the code such that every time you run and re-run the code, the command window gets cleared. This reduces the hassle of clearing the command window using the Direct method (mentioned above) to run the program every time.

Example: Editor without CLC

Here is an example of an editor without the clc command.

Here the command window doesn’t get cleared every time the program runs.

Example: Editor with CLC

Here is an example of an editor with the clc command.

You’ll see that here the command window gets cleared every time the code is run.

Just like for the normal editor, the live script editor also uses the clc command in the exact same method.

The clc command only clears the command window. Any value stored in the workspace remains unedited. This means that if the value A = 25 is stored in the workspace, even after clearing the command window, A’s value will still be stored as 25.

Also read: What is an M3U file? How to open one?

Ishita Maheshwari

Ishita Maheshwari

A creative nerd, TT player, an avid reader, and an engineering student.