What Is Single Data Type in MATLAB?


Scott Campbell

A single data type in MATLAB refers to a variable that can hold only one value at a time. It is a fundamental concept in programming and is widely used in MATLAB for various computations and data manipulations. Understanding how single data types work is essential for writing efficient MATLAB code.

Types of Single Data Types

In MATLAB, there are several types of single data types:

  • numeric: This type includes integers, floating-point numbers, and complex numbers.
  • logical: This type represents true or false values.
  • character: This type stores individual characters or strings.

Let’s explore each of these types in more detail:

Numeric Data Type

Numeric data types in MATLAB are used to represent numeric values such as integers and floating-point numbers. The most commonly used numeric types are:

  • int8: Represents signed 8-bit integers with a range from -128 to 127.
  • int16: Represents signed 16-bit integers with a range from -32768 to 32767.
  • int32: Represents signed 32-bit integers with a range from -2147483648 to 2147483647.
  • int64: Represents signed 64-bit integers with a range from -9223372036854775808 to

  • single: Represents single-precision floating-point numbers with 32 bits.
  • double: Represents double-precision floating-point numbers with 64 bits.

    This is the default numeric type in MATLAB.

  • complex: Represents complex numbers with a real and imaginary part. The real and imaginary parts can be of any numeric type.

Logical Data Type

The logical data type in MATLAB represents true or false values. It is often used for logical operations and conditional statements. In MATLAB, logical variables are represented by the keyword true or false.

Character Data Type

The character data type in MATLAB is used to represent individual characters or strings. Individual characters are enclosed in single quotes (‘ ‘), while strings (a sequence of characters) are enclosed in double quotes (” “). For example:

charVariable = 'A';
stringVariable = "Hello, World!";

Character arrays can also be created using square brackets ([ ]). For example:

charArray = ['H', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'];
stringArray = ["H", "e", "l", "l", "o"];


In MATLAB, single data types play a crucial role in storing and manipulating data efficiently. Understanding the different types of single data types helps programmers write code that is both accurate and optimized for performance.

In this article, we explored the numeric, logical, and character data types available in MATLAB. We covered their definitions and provided examples to help you grasp their concepts better.

Now that you have a good understanding of single data types in MATLAB, you can confidently use them in your programs and take advantage of their powerful capabilities.

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