MATLAB Answers


Error: Too many output arguments.

Asked by Jason Froome on 27 Aug 2019
Latest activity Commented on by Jason Froome on 27 Aug 2019
I am trying to call a function to calculate timber lengths however every time i do it returns the error of 'Too many output arguments'. I am running Matlab R2017a.
% Calculate total timber lengths needed
total_length = no_of_wall_studs * GET_NEAREST_LENGTH(wall_height);
total_length = total_length + (top_plates * GET_NEAREST_LENGTH(wall_width));
% Function to calculate timber length
function GET_NEAREST_LENGTH(length)
timber_length = MAX_WALL_WIDTH;
% Check is length is minimum
if length <= MIN_TIMBER_LENGTH
% Start at 5.4 and work down to find the correct length
while length < (timber_length-INC)
timber_length = timber_length-INC;
any help is appreciated


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1 Answer

Answer by James Tursa
on 27 Aug 2019
Edited by James Tursa
on 27 Aug 2019
 Accepted Answer

Your function isn't coded to return anything. Try this:
function timber_length = GET_NEAREST_LENGTH(length)
Btw, "length" is the name of a built-in MATLAB function ... to avoid confusion in your code you should consider using a different name.


Thanks, that cleared the output error, however now i am getting a different error that tells me "Undefined function or variable 'MAX_WALL_WIDTH'."
even though MAX_WALL_WIDTH is defined as 5.4 at the top of my script.
I changed the name "length" as well after doing some google searches to ensure the new name wasnt a matlab function.
Also thanks for editing the question to show the code correctly
James Tursa
on 27 Aug 2019
Functions have their own workspace that generally isn't shared with the caller workspace (unless you do something to make it shared, like nested functions). So your function can't see the variables at your script level. You could simply pass them in as arguments, which is actually good code design to make your function self-contained and only dependent on input arguments. E.g.,
function timber_length = GET_NEAREST_LENGTH( length, MAX_WALL_WIDTH, INC )
Just be sure to include these arguments when calling the function.
Thanks James your a champion.

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