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# How can I get more information on MATLAB?

• If you know the name of the function you want help on you can use the matlab help command.
```        >> help           % lists the names of all Directories in the
% MATLABPATH search path
>> help dir_name  % lists contents of directory dir_name, if
% dir_name is a directory in the MATLABPATH
% and contains a Contents.m file
>> help fname     % Shows the help message for a particular function
```

The command "more on" sets matlab to pause between screenfuls of text, rather than scrolling it beyond view. (Use spacebar to advance a page, RETURN to advance a line, "q" to exit from the item being displayed.) For example, typing "help fft" gives:

```>> help fft

FFT    Discrete Fourier transform.
FFT(X) is the discrete Fourier transform of vector X.  If the
length of X is a power of two, a fast radix-2 fast-Fourier
transform algorithm is used.  If the length of X is not a
power of two, a slower non-power-of-two algorithm is employed.
FFT(X,N) is the N-point FFT, padded with zeros if X has less
than N points and truncated if it has more.
If X is a matrix, the FFT operation is applied to each column.

```
• If you are unsure of the function name, you can try to find the name using the Matlab "lookfor" command. This command does a keyword search on the first comment line of each .m file in the MATLABPATH, and may take some time to finish. (The switch "-all" can be used to search through the entire first comment block, but this will lengthen the search.) For example
```        >> lookfor cartesian

CART2POL Transform Cartesian to polar coordinates.
CART2SPH Transform Cartesian to spherical coordinates.
POL2CART Transform polar to Cartesian coordinates.
SPH2CART Transform spherical to Cartesian coordinates.
```
• The MathWorks' web-based "Help Desk" includes a full documentation set in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format, a searchable command index, and links to other information. It can be started from matlab:
```      >> helpdesk
```

or from Athena

```      athena% add matlab; matlabdoc
```

## IS&T Contributions

#### Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members →

February 18, 2009

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