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Why help on 'str' yield help on 'std'?

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Hi all,
When I want to check if a name for a new variable I want to use is already part of Matlab language I just seek help on that word (hopping to get 'word' not found). I guess this is a common practice.
I tried to use this technique with the word 'Str' (short name for a string) and got help on the known function 'std'. Either it is a bug or part of Matlab attempt to guess typos. In both cases, it doesn't help...
Is it a typo correction? Is it a bug?

  1 Comment

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 29 Jan 2017
Yes, occasionally MATLAB does clean up typos or redirect one word to the MATLAB equivalent of that concept. On occasion (not often) I have seen it direct to help that contained a copy of the word I had typed in.

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Accepted Answer

Stephen Cobeldick
Stephen Cobeldick on 29 Jan 2017
Edited: Stephen Cobeldick on 29 Jan 2017
Don't use help to check if a name is already used: the best function for this is which:
which str
which str -all
For example:
>> which str
'str' not found.
>> which std
C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2010b\toolbox\matlab\datafun\std.m


Alon Rozen
Alon Rozen on 29 Jan 2017
Hi Stephen,
Thanks! I learned something new. Didn't know about this 'which' option. It is better then 'help', I agree.
Just for curiosity, I still wonder about the 'help str' behavior. Is it a bug?
Stephen Cobeldick
Stephen Cobeldick on 29 Jan 2017
@Alon Rozen: I suspect that help is trying to, err, help, by providing some spelling correction.
Steven Lord
Steven Lord on 30 Jan 2017
This feature was introduced in release R2015b. It is not a bug.

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