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deploypcode(source_​dir, target_dir, varargin)

version (11.4 KB) by Sven
DEPLOYPCODE recursively searches a directory for .m files, creating encrypted .p files with .m help


Updated 08 Jan 2015

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Editor's Note: This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

This entry is ideal for those who have a project they need to deploy to P-files, but they want to retain HELP contents for all of their deployed files.
DEPLOYPCODE recursively creates p-code versions of m-files in a given folder
DEPLOYPCODE(SOURCE, TARGET) will recursively search the SOURCE folder for all .m files and
deploy them as P-files to the TARGET folder using default options below.

DEPLOYPCODE(..., 'PropertyName',VALUE,'PropertyName',VALUE,...) uses the following options
when deploying p-code:

'recurse' - When true (default) will recursively deploy p-code from SOURCE folder.

'ignoreStrings' - String or cell array of strings of filenames to ignore. Regular expression
syntax is used.

'ignoreSVN' - Additional true/false option to ignore ".svn" directories. Equivalent to
adding {'^\.svn$'} to "ignoreStrings". Defaults to TRUE for convenience.

'includeHelp' - MATLAB's pcode() removes all comments including the help section from
files when run. Setting this option to true (default) will export an
additional .m file containing only the help contents of the file being
deployed. This means that myFunction.m will be deployed to myFunction.p,
but calling "help myFunction" will still return help text.

'updateOnly' - When true, destination p-files will only be created if they don't yet
exist or are older than the m-file being encoded. Defaults to false.

'copyDirectStrings' - String or cell array of strings of filenames to copy directly to TARGET
folder without encryption. Regular expression syntax is used.

'copyFigFiles' - Additional true/false option to copy ".fig" files directly. Equivalent to
adding {'\.fig$'} to "copyDirectStrings". Defaults TRUE for convenience.
'copyDllFiles' - Additional true/false option to copy ".dll" files directly. Equivalent to
adding {'\.dll$'} to "copyDirectStrings". Defaults TRUE for convenience.
'copyMexFiles' - Additional true/false option to copy mex files directly. Defaults TRUE
for convenience.

'flattenFileTree' - When true (default), regular m-files are deployed as p-files only to the
TARGET folder initially provided (rather than under any subdirectories).
When this option is set to FALSE, the file structure under the SOURCE
directory will be replicated at the TARGET.


written by Sven Holcombe Oct 2011

Author's note:
While I am generally against unnecessary encryption of .m files (it would be against the spirit of this file exchange, for one), I needed a tool such as this one for my work, and thought that others may need the same.

Cite As

Sven (2021). deploypcode(source_dir, target_dir, varargin) (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (18)

Timothy Hattrell

Great tool. Doesn't work with inputs which are strings, which took a minute to figure out, but fine once fed a traditional char array.


Nice tool, helped me a lot!

Michele Oro Nobili

Martin Lenz

Thank you so much for this great tool.


This is exactly what I was looking for!!!
Thank you Sven.
I had a problem where developers would go to the production machine and "fine tune" the code after it had been officially released.
Deploying pcode only with your function will eliminate that problem.
Thank you!!

Alexander Brodsky

cao tri


Excellent. When flattenFileTree == false, it works like a charm. Good work, many thanks!


very good script. Excellent applicability.


Andrea Vaccaro

Forgot to rate...


Thanks Adrea, glad it helped you, and thanks very much for the updates. I'll take a look and incorporate them in the next update I make.

Andrea Vaccaro

Wonderful work, saved me a lot of time!!!

I noticed that it would choke on files that aren't syntactically correct. I modified your code to just skip those files and issue a warning. Also I added an option for copying dll files and mex files. I know its a nuance as I could have used the 'copyDirectStrings' options but I found that might be very common to copy those files. Here is the patch corresponding to my modifications:

if you want to include this patch into the code feel free to modify at your wish

cheers and again thanks for your code


@DBS: Glad it was helpful. I've just uploaded a new version that allows 'copyDirectStrings' as a parameter, where you can set file names (via a regexp) that you want to copy directly from source to target.
Is this what you were looking for?


Great function Sven, saved me a lot of time! But if it transferred other optional files it would be perfect. For instance in my case, I needed to deploy some .txt, .pdf and .xls from source. Meanwhile, I'll try to insert it in your code. Cheers!


Great work. This is very nice code. It is obvious that you enjoyed coding this function. Comments like "Tricky little function..." and "Sneakily force the..." are gems :)


@Greg: Sure, I've uploaded a new version that allows the flattenTreeFile = false option to take effect.

Greg Perrott

Any chance you could implement the option to turn off flattenFileTree?

Great script by the way.

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2011b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Inspired by: genpath_exclude

Inspired: Deploy pcoded Matlab Files

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