A string constant consists of a sequence of characters enclosed in either double-quote or single-quote marks. For example, both of the following expressions
represent the string whose contents are `parrot'. Strings in Octave can be of any length.
Since the single-quote mark is also used for the transpose operator (see Arithmetic Ops) but double-quote marks have no other purpose in Octave, it is best to use double-quote marks to denote strings.
Some characters cannot be included literally in a string constant. You represent them instead with escape sequences, which are character sequences beginning with a backslash (`\').
One use of an escape sequence is to include a double-quote
(single-quote) character in a string constant that has been defined
using double-quote (single-quote) marks. Since a plain double-quote
would end the string, you must use `\"' to represent a single
double-quote character as a part of the string. The backslash character
itself is another character that cannot be included normally. You must
write `\\' to put one backslash in the string. Thus, the string
whose contents are the two characters `"\' may be written
'"\\'. Similarly, the string whose contents are
the two characters `'\' may be written
Another use of backslash is to represent unprintable characters such as newline. While there is nothing to stop you from writing most of these characters directly in a string constant, they may look ugly.
Here is a table of all the escape sequences used in Octave. They are the same as those used in the C programming language.
Strings may be concatenated using the notation for defining matrices. For example, the expression
[ "foo" , "bar" , "baz" ]
produces the string whose contents are `foobarbaz'. See Numeric Data Types, for more information about creating matrices.