Help facilities

Below we list the most important ways to use the MATLAB help facilities.

**Help**Functions - By typing the command`>> help 'function name'`

in the Command Window, an M-help file appears in the Command Window. This file contains a short description of the function, the syntax, and other closely related help functions. This is MATLAB's most direct help facility, and you will often use this facility to quickly check how a certain function works and which notation should be used. If more extensive results are needed, try the command`doc`

.**Look for**- By typing the command`lookfor 'topic'`

in the Command Window, you can call up all help possibilities which contain the specific search word. You can use this possibility to look for a function of which you do not remember the function name exactly. In this manner, all related topics appear in the Command Window.**Help Browser**- You can use the `Help Browser' to find and browse information about Mathworks products. This help browser contains different ways to obtain the correct information, like lists, a global index and a search function. You will especially use this help facility if you are looking for a function of which you do not remember the name. More information about the Help Browser can be found in the next paragraph.**Other help facilities**- You can use product specific help facilities, have a look at Mathworks'*demos*by typing demos in the Command Window, consult the Technical Support, look for documentation about other Mathworks products, have a look at a list or other books, and take part in a MATLAB newsgroup. More information about these topics can be found in the MATLAB Help Browser or on the site www.mathworks.com.

**Use of the Help Browser**

You can use the "Help Browser" to look for documents and to have a look at MATLAB documents and other Mathworks products. The "Help Browser" is a html viewer that is integrated in the MATLAB desktop. With this browser you can look at the HTML documents belonging to MATLAB.

You can open the "Help Browser" in three different ways:

- By clicking on the help button in the MATLAB task bar.
- By typing
`helpbrowser`

or`doc`

in the Command Window. - By selecting the menu Help
Product Help in the Menu bar.

When the "Help Browser" is opened, a window similar as the one below will appear:

The Help Browser consists of two parts. The left half, also called the Help Navigator, can be used to find information. In the right half you can look at the documentation. Below, the different tabs of the navigator are listed:

- Contents - Within this tab you can browse a list (arranged in a tree structure) with the contents of the documentation.
- Index - Here, you can find information by entering key words.
- Search results - Above the different tabs, you can enter a search word. Results of your search will be shown in this tab. Results found in the documentation will be listed separately from results found in the demos.
- Demos - Within this tab, you can browse through the demos that are present.

**The best way to search**

When you know the name of a MATLAB command you want to use, e.g. the function `plot`

, the fastest way to obtain
information is to type
`>> help 'function name'`

, in this case `>> help plot`

.This will show you some help
in the command window. An alternative is to use the command doc plot, that will open the help browser
containing a more extensive explanation, sometimes containing examples.

If you do not know the name of a function or do not know whether such a function exists, using the command `lookfor`

function or the Help Browser would be appropriate.

Esteur 2010-03-22