How to get a value from an array in Matlab and Octave

To read the value of an element from a vector v in Matlab and Octave, type the name of the array and the index position of the element in round brackets.


The term n is an integer indicating the position of the element in the vector index.

If n = "end" Matlab reads the last index position of the vector (last element).

Note. Unlike many programming languages, vector indexing starts from 1 (not 0) in Matlab and Octave. Thus, the first element of the vector is v (1). The second element of the vector is v (2). Typing v (0) causes an error in Matlab and Octave.


Define a vector with 5 elements

>> v=['a';'b';'c';'d';'e']

To get the first element of the vector, type v(1)

>> v(1)
ans = a

To get the second element, type v(2)

>> v(2)
ans = b

To get the third element, type v(3)

>> v(3)
ans = c

To get the last element, type v(5)

>> v(5)
ans = e

Alternatively, to access the last element without specifying the position, use the word "end" and type v(end)

>> v(end)
ans = e

In this case the software automatically finds the last position in the index of the vector, before reading and returning the value of the element.


Report us an error or send a suggestion to improve this page

Arrays and Vectors