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(To be removed) Create serial port object

serial will be removed in a future release. Use serialport instead. For more information on updating your code, see Compatibility Considerations


obj = serial('port')
obj = serial('port','PropertyName',PropertyValue,...)



The serial port name.


A serial port property name.


A property value supported by PropertyName.


The serial port object.


obj = serial('port') creates a serial port object associated with the serial port specified by port. If port does not exist, or if it is in use, you will not be able to connect the serial port object to the instrument with the fopen function.

obj = serial('port','PropertyName',PropertyValue,...) creates a serial port object with the specified property names and property values. If an invalid property name or property value is specified, an error is returned and the serial port object is not created.


This example creates the serial port object s1 on a Windows® machine associated with the serial port COM1.

s1 = serial('COM1');

The Type, Name, and Port properties are automatically configured.

ans = 
ans = 
ans = 

To specify properties during object creation,

s2 = serial('COM2','BaudRate',1200,'DataBits',7);


At any time, you can use the instrhelp function to view a complete listing of properties and functions associated with serial port objects.

instrhelp serial

When you create a serial port object, these property values are automatically configured:

  • Type is given by serial.

  • Name is given by concatenating Serial with the port specified in the serial function.

  • Port is given by the port specified in the serial function.

You can specify the property names and property values using any format supported by the set function. For example, you can use property name/property value cell array pairs. Additionally, you can specify property names without regard to case, and you can make use of property name completion. For example, the following commands are all valid.

s = serial('COM1','BaudRate',4800);
s = serial('COM1','baudrate',4800);
s = serial('COM1','BAUD',4800);

Before you can communicate with the instrument, it must be connected to obj with the fopen function. A connected serial port object has a Status property value of open. An error is returned if you attempt a read or write operation while obj is not connected to the instrument. You can connect only one serial port object to a given serial port.


To get a list of options you can use on a function, press the Tab key after entering a function on the MATLAB® command line. The list expands, and you can scroll to choose a property or value. For information about using this advanced tab completion feature, see Using Tab Completion for Functions.

Version History

Introduced before R2006a

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See Also