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11.4 Variable-length Return Lists

It is possible to return a variable number of output arguments from a function using a syntax that's similar to the one used with the special varargin parameter name. To let a function return a variable number of output arguments the special output parameter name varargout is used. As with varargin, varargout is a cell array that will contain the requested output arguments.

As an example the following function sets the first output argument to 1, the second to 2, and so on.

 
function varargout = one_to_n ()
  for i = 1:nargout
    varargout{i} = i;
  endfor
endfunction

When called this function returns values like this

 
[a, b, c] = one_to_n ()
     ⇒ a =  1
     ⇒ b =  2
     ⇒ c =  3

If varargin (varargout) does not appear as the last element of the input (output) parameter list, then it is not special, and is handled the same as any other parameter name.

Function File: [r1, r2, …, rn] = deal (a)
Function File: [r1, r2, …, rn] = deal (a1, a2, …, an)

Copy the input parameters into the corresponding output parameters. If only one input parameter is supplied, its value is copied to each of the outputs.

For example,

 
[a, b, c] = deal (x, y, z);

is equivalent to

 
a = x;
b = y;
c = z;

and

 
[a, b, c] = deal (x);

is equivalent to

 
a = b = c = x;

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