Help facilities

In principle all information about MATLAB can be found in MATLAB's help facilities. Since the MATLAB commands and functions can often be used in more general situations, the information you will obtain through the help facilities will often be more general than necessary. You will have to filter out the essential ingredients from the information that is offered.

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

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:

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:

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.

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Esteur 2010-03-22