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Which MathWorks resource is most helpful to you while learning MATLAB?

MATLAB Documentation
MATLAB Central Community
Other(Explain in comments)
2608 votes

Jim Nicholson
Jim Nicholson on 11 Oct 2021

I find StackExchange gets to the answer faster than the formal Mathworks documentation.

sai sai
sai sai on 11 Oct 2021

I Prefer documentation for quick reference but for some complicated topics documentation with example videos will be better.

Emily on 8 Oct 2021

Also: I prefer using the documentation on the web, because it is much faster! Especially if my computer is in the middle of some heavy calculation in matlab.

DGM on 8 Oct 2021

Must be nice, because on a slow connection, load times for a lot of the more heavily scripted pages range from "slow" to "the scripts break and it never loads".

Wendy Fullam
Wendy Fullam on 14 Oct 2021 (Edited on 14 Oct 2021)

If performance is an issue, the installed documentation is still available. On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select MATLAB > Help. You can adjust the preference options as described in the table.

DGM on 16 Nov 2022 (Edited on 16 Nov 2022)
Nah. I'm running R2019b on Linux. The offline help browser just hangs with a blank window, occasionally requiring killing MATLAB. If I recall, that's a known bug or tangential to a known bug.
You have a point though. I have the help files locally, and I could open up a file browser and dig through them and open them in an external web browser.
... but the only docs I have locally are for R2019b or older. That might be fine for my own needs, but it's not going to help me (slowly) answer forum questions.
Emily on 8 Oct 2021

MATLAB's documentation is generally great and my first go-to resource. The examples in the documentation are least useful when they use random matrices rather than some concrete example. This happened to me today: I was trying to understand what "shiftdim" does and how it relates to "permute". (They sound like they both just rearrange the order of the dimensions) But the examples in "shiftdim" all use a random matrix. It would be easier to guess the purpose of this function if the example were a natural usage. Why would I want to "shift" dimensions? (It seems that it means "remove some length-one dimensions", sort of like squeeze, but it only shifts the ones at the beginning. I still don't know why I would want to use it.)

Leslie McBrayer
Leslie McBrayer on 14 Oct 2021

Thank you for this valuable input! We've captured your feedback in our change tracking system so that we can consider improvements for a future release.

Gavin Bell
Gavin Bell on 6 Oct 2021 (Edited on 6 Oct 2021)

When I was first learning MATLAB, I used a book... an actual, physical artefact! Nowadays: MATLAB problem --> standard web search --> someone has almost certainly addressed it in the community, and there are many excellent answers. If not, the documentation is generally clear, but I also find that examples are critical for me to get to grips with a new function or feature.

There could be more poetry in the documentation.

Unlike those unfortunate technical sites,

Whose grudging release of the facts feels like charity,

Mathworks web pages are clear and precise,

Indeed, one may say they are models of clarity.

nealm on 5 Oct 2021

Working with others in a collaboration gave me insight early in my career in using Matlab.

Gokul Krishna N
Gokul Krishna N on 4 Oct 2021

The community and the Answered Questions are really helpful for me. I have hit so many walls, while working on my projects and then, I search the Mathwork's community or the MATLAB Examples. That does the job.

Lambert Desa
Lambert Desa on 1 Oct 2021

As a beginner coding with MATLAB, the Documentation is logically the most useful tool for learning, but my experience so far has been that the documentation is most often valuable only when accompanied by real examples of how to use a function or in-built tool, without which an unseasoned programmer can not properly continue. A further very useful medium is the community where one can reference similar use cases or pose questions for specific issues that can not be properly covered by the documentation.

cui,xingxing on 30 Sep 2021 (Edited on 30 Sep 2021)

I have also been using MATLAB for almost 10 years, compared with other languages or tools, my personal summary of the advantages: intuitive, stable, reliable, and the new version is extremely compatible,less overlapping content across toolboxs.

heena panda
heena panda on 30 Sep 2021

Both examples with documentation are helpful. I am using MATLAB for 10 years. Now I want to try the deep learning model in MATLAB. If some demo is given then it will be more clear and easy to use.

Rena Berman
Rena Berman on 30 Sep 2021

Have you tried the deep learning onramp?

DGM on 30 Sep 2021 (Edited on 30 Sep 2021)

I would've picked "documentation", but the webdocs are conspicuously missing links to functions mentioned inline. Any reasonable person would expect that when you mention a related tool in the middle of the text and it's highlighted in a different color, that's a link to the relevant resource. That's kind of the idea of hypertext, isn't it? Similarly, the "related" links at the bottom of the page are often missing several obviously related items, in what looks like some reluctance to cross-link between documentation for different toolboxes.

Half the problem with learning how to efficiently use MATLAB is discovering that certain functions even exist. On that point, obfuscating function lists by requiring the user to unfold a dozen page sections every time they visit the page just seem like another obstacle.

Wendy Fullam
Wendy Fullam on 14 Oct 2021

Thanks for sharing! Please do share feedback on the doc pages when you encounter places where links would help. Our doc writers review all survey responses and react with updates each release. We want to ensure our documentation is a continually evolving element of our products - and suggestions from users are very helpful. With over 40k pages of documentation, your ideas help us prioritize focus. Keep those recommendations coming!

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