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Method syntax, attributes, and purpose

Methods are the operations defined by a class. Methods can overload MATLAB® functions to perform the operations on objects of the class. MATLAB determines which method or function to call based on the dominant argument. Class constructor methods create objects of the class and must follow specific rules.


methodsClass method names
ismethodDetermine if object has specified method


meta.methodInformation about class method


Method Use

Methods in Class Design

Different kinds of methods perform specific tasks in MATLAB classes.

Define Class Methods and Functions

Define methods in a methods block that specifies attributes for all methods defined in that block.

Method Invocation

MATLAB uses the dominant argument to determine which method to call.

Method Access List

Specify a list of classes that can access a class method.

Object Precedence in Method Invocation

MATLAB dispatches to a specific method or function based on the dominant argument. There are rules that determine which argument is the dominant argument.

Methods in Separate Files

Define class methods in separate files for convenience and efficiency.

Method Types

Method Attributes

Method attributes control the behavior of methods.

Ordinary Methods

Define ordinary methods within the class definition file using method blocks.

Class Constructor Methods

The class constructor is a special method that creates instances of the class.

Static Methods

Static methods do not require an object of the class as an input argument.

Class Methods for Graphics Callbacks

There is a specific syntax necessary to use a method of your class as a callback for MATLAB graphics objects.

Methods That Overload Functions

Overload Functions in Class Definitions

By overloading MATLAB functions for your class, objects of the class can support MATLAB operations.

Dominant Argument in Overloaded Graphics Functions

If you want to define a method that accepts a MATLAB graphics object as the first arguments, specify the relative precedence of your class with respect to the graphics class.

Class Support for Array-Creation Functions

Add support for array-creation functions without overloading these functions in your class.

Objects In Conditional Statements

Enable the use of objects in conditional statements by defining relational operators for the class of the object.