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Title of script: User defined Input/output in Scilab

Author: Anuradha Amrutkar

Keywords: input, mprintf, save() , load()

Visual Cue Narration
Slide Welcome to this spoken tutorial on User-defined Input and Output using Scilab.
Slide In this tutorial, we will learn
  • Input Function
  • Formatting the Output
  • save function
  • load function
Slide System Requirements

For Demonstration:I am Ubuntu Linux12.04 operating system with Scilab version 5.3.3 installed

Slide Pre-requisites:

You should have

  1. Basic knowledge of Scilab.
  2. If not, for relevant spoken tutorials on scilab please visit spoken hyphen tutorial dot org

Slide Input Function:

The input() function

  • is used to take the input from the user.
  • It provides a prompt in the text string for user input.
  • It waits for input from the keyboard.

If nothing but a carriage return is entered at the prompt, input() function returns an empty matrix.

Slide The input function can be written in two ways .

First ,x= input(message to display) Second,x= input("message to display","strings") In the second example, the second argument is “string”.

So the output is a character string, which is the expression entered using the keyboard.

Scilab Console

--> x = input (“ Enter your age”)

--> y = input (“ Enter your age”, “string”)

Switch to the Scilab Console window and type,

-->x is equal to input open bracket inside double quotes Enter your age close the double quotes close the bracket and press enter.Type 25 and press enter

Now type

-->y is equal to input into bracket into double quotes Enter your age close the double quotes comma again inside double quotes write string close the bracket. and press enter

type 25 and press enter

We see that in both the cases the input we entered through the keyboard, was a number 25.
Now, let us check the type of variable that x and y are.

Let us clear the console using clc command. We are doing this to validate the use and importance of the argument “string”, given in the second example.



To check the type of variable, let us type

-->typeof(x)and press enter


-->typeof(y) and press enter

You can see it yourself, that
  • the first answer stored in x is of type constant and
  • second answer stored in y, with the argument “string” included in the command, is of type string.

Slide Let us now see how to format the output that is displayed on the console.

This can be done using the mprintf() function.

mprintf() function converts, formats and writes data on to the Scilab console.

It is an interface for C-coded version of printf function.

Let us see an example for this.Switch to the console

Scilab console

-->mprintf("Value of x=%d is taken as a CONSTANT, while value of y=%s is taken as a STRING", x , y)

Value of x=25 is taken as a CONSTANT,while value of y=25

is taken as a STRING

Type-->mprintf into bracket into quotes type iteration percent i comma result is colon slash n alpha equal to percentf comma 33 comma 0.535 close the bracket, Here 33 will be displayed in place of percent i and point535 will be displayed in place of percent f as a flow, press enter
This will give the output as  At iteration 33, Result is alpha is equal to 0.535000. Clear the console. Now let us see another example.

In print f open bracket into quotes value of x is equal to percentage d is taken as a constant comma while value of y is equal to percent s is taken as a string close the quotes comma x comma y close the bracket

In the above example

  • percentage d is used to insert an constant data stored in variable x and
  • percentage s is used to insert a string data stored in variable y. press enter you see the output

Slide Now, let us discuss the use of save and load command.

To quit Scilab midway through a calcula-

tion and to

continue to a later stage type

--> save this session

This will save the current values of all variables to a file

called thissession.

This file cannot be edited.

It is in binary format.

When you next start Scilab, type

--> load this session

and the computation can be resumed where you left off.

The purpose of save and load function are

  • The save() command saves all the scilab current variables in a binary file.
  • If the variable is a graphic handle, the save function saves all the corresponding graphics_entities definition.
  • The file can be given either by its paths or by its descriptor previously given.

Slide * save(filename) saves all the current variables in a file defined by filename.
  • save(fd) saves all the current variables in the file defined by the descriptor fd.
  • save(filename,x,y) or save(fd,x,y) saves only named variables x and y.

Scilab Console

--> a = eye(2,2)

a =

1. 0.

0. 1.

--> b = ones (a)

b =

1. 1.

1. 1.

--> save('matrix-a-b.dat', a, b)

Let us see an example to illustrate the save and load commands usage.

Switch back to the console . Let us define two matrices say a and b

-->a = eye(2,2) and press enter


-->b=ones(a)and press enter

Clear the console using clc command. Now type

--> save matrix-a-b

or it can also be written as

-->save('matrix-a-b.dat',a,b)and press enter

This saves the values of variables in a binary file matrix-a-b.dat in the present working directory.

You can browse the present working directory to check the existence of this binary file. You can see it here. I will close the file browser.

Scilab Console

-->clear a b

Now let us load the file back in to the variables.

Before this, let us clear the variables a and bType

-->clear a space band press enter

Let us cross check if these variables are really cleared.


!--error 4

Undefined variable: a


!--error 4

Undefined variable: b

Scilab Console

--> load('matrix-a-b.dat', 'a', 'b')

Now let us load back the values from the binary files in these variables a and b using the load command. Type

Load into bracket into quote matrix dash a dash b dot dat close the quotes comma into quotes a comma into quotes b close the bracketand press enter

--> a

a =

1. 0.

0. 1.

--> b

b =

1. 1.

1. 1.

Let us check the values in variables a and b. Clear the console. Type




You can see the values are loaded back in the variables.

Summary In this tutorial we learnt -
  • Input Function using input command
  • Formatting the Output using mprintf command
  • Save Function
  • Load Function

Slide Watch the video available at the link shown below

It summarises the Spoken Tutorial project

If you do not have good bandwidth, you can

download and watch it

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Acknowledgement Spoken Tutorial Project is a part of the Talk to a

Teacher project

It is supported by the National Mission on

Education through ICT, MHRD, Government

of India

More information on this Mission is available


This is Anuradha Amrutkar from IIT Bombay

Thank You for joining

Contributors and Content Editors

Lavitha Pereira, Sneha