MATLAB Answers

Share your favorite snippet or utility

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Matt Fig
Matt Fig on 20 Sep 2012
I am wondering what others use for those little short-cuts or niceties in MATLAB. I have in mind something you wrote or something somebody else wrote or an underused MW function.
Here are my two favorites.
This is a simple script I use. Here is the entire contents of CLC.m (yes, it is capitalized):
clear all,close all,clc
Very simple, but I use it all the time. Here is another one I use so often that I forget not every machine has it (though every machine should, IMO):
Here is an underused MW function that I occasionally employ when working on someone else's machine. The usual response is, "Wait, what did you just do?"
home
What are some of yours?

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Robert Cumming
Robert Cumming on 21 Sep 2012
Downloaded whats for the first time - very handy! :)
Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 21 Sep 2012
@Matt, do you not keep the current directory panel open? I might have to give whats a try if it means I could close that panel.
Matt Fig
Matt Fig on 21 Sep 2012
@Sean, I have only the command window and a minimized command history open to the left of that space. No docked anything. I am old-school. That is why I like whats so much, one simple command and I can do it all and I don't have to keep any more panels open all the time. Let me know "what" you think if you try it.

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Answers (10)

José-Luis
José-Luis on 20 Sep 2012
Edited: Matt Fig on 20 Sep 2012
Not really a snippet, but useful.

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Ilham Hardy
Ilham Hardy on 21 Sep 2012
What exactly the difference compared to
clearvars -except
??
per isakson
per isakson on 21 Sep 2012
Better name and fewer keystrokes. keep has been around for a long time. I for one hadn't noticed "clearvars -except"
Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 21 Sep 2012
keep also safe guards against deleting things when you have a typo.

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Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 20 Sep 2012
I have another few shortcut buttons on my toolbar to quickly go to often-used folders and show the file panel. For example one button that says "Go to demos folder" and in there is this code:
cd('D:\MATLAB\work\Demos');
filebrowser;
I keep all my demos that I post here in Answers (that are worthy of keeping) in that folder.

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Daniel Shub
Daniel Shub on 20 Sep 2012
At one point I tried to develop a way of using the history better. Basically I wanted functions like projectStart, projectEnd, and projectRestore that would handle the path and scrape the history for the last time I worked on the project. Never really figured out how it would work, but I still think it would be a cool utility.
Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 20 Sep 2012
I don't have a "whats" function - I don't know what's that (no pun intended). I put in "filebrowser" because I used tabbed panels for workspace and the file listing to conserve space for code. So if I had been looking at the Workspace panel and just cd'ed then I wouldn't see my files, which was the whole point of going to that folder in the first place. So I do filebrowser and it sends the workspace panel to the back and brings the file listing panel to the forefront. Even if you aren't using tabbed panels, it can't hurt. If you had closed the panel for some reason, filebrowser will bring it back.
Matt Fig
Matt Fig on 20 Sep 2012
IA, I gave a link in the OP to whats. Here is another:
The function shows all M-files, MAT-files and figure files in the directory as hyperlinks. Clicking on a M-file name opens the file for editing. Clicking on a MAT-file name loads the file. Clicking on a figure file opens the figure.

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Daniel Shub
Daniel Shub on 20 Sep 2012
I have three versions of your CLC that I have as shortcuts. They all came from here
The biggest hammer is
!matlab &
exit
This sometimes causes issues with the command window moving and files needing to be closed, but it really gets the job done. The second is a slightly smaller hammer that is based on the longer answer to the question. The third is the same as the second, except it doesn't screw with the path, current directory, or command window contents.
On my computer get(0, 'MonitorPosition') returns nonsense so I use
function MonitorPositions = getmonitorpositions()
error(nargchk(0, 0, nargin, 'struct'));
error(nargoutchk(0, 1, nargout, 'struct'));
Monitors = ...
java.awt.GraphicsEnvironment.getLocalGraphicsEnvironment.getScreenDevices;
MonitorPositions = zeros(length(Monitors), 4);
for iMonitors = 1:length(Monitors)
MonitorBounds = Monitors(iMonitors).getDefaultConfiguration.getBounds;
MonitorPositions(iMonitors, :) = ...
[MonitorBounds.getX, MonitorBounds.getY, ...
MonitorBounds.getWidth, MonitorBounds.getHeight];
end
end
I also like
function [UserNameString, HostNameString, IpAddressString, MacAddressString] = getcomputer()
error(nargchk(0, 0, nargin, 'struct'));
error(nargoutchk(0, 4, nargout, 'struct'));
UserNameString = char(java.lang.System.getProperty('user.name'));
HostNameString = char(java.net.InetAddress.getLocalHost.getHostName);
Eth0Obj = java.net.NetworkInterface.getByName('eth0');
MacAddressString = sprintf('%c%c-%c%c-%c%c-%c%c-%c%c-%c%c', dec2hex(mod(double(Eth0Obj.getHardwareAddress()), 256))');
Temp = Eth0Obj.getInterfaceAddresses.size-1;
IpAddressString = sprintf('%d.%d.%d.%d', mod(double(Eth0Obj.getInterfaceAddresses.get(Temp).getAddress.getAddress), 256));
end

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Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 21 Sep 2012
Is there any way to make a shortcut button called something like "Format Code" which essentially does Control-A (to select all the text in the editor window) followed by Control-I (to fix up the indenting/alignment)? That's a nice set of utility commands that I use often.

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Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 21 Sep 2012
This should be it's own question because I want 4 points :)
smartIndentContents(matlab.desktop.editor.getActive)

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Albert Yam
Albert Yam on 20 Sep 2012
I have a few shortcut buttons. I have the clear all; clc separate from the close all though (and an fclose(all)). I have one specifically for looking at figures, which I use pretty often.
set(gcf, 'Position', [100 50 850 600])
But the most useful one I have is,
addpath (genpath (pwd))
disp('ADD path ''pwd''')
Another 2 I have are savez and diaryz, which just add a time stamp in the filename.

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Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 20 Sep 2012
Edited: Sean de Wolski on 20 Sep 2012
  • gohome
%Go home
cd('H:\Documents\MATLAB');
  • fgcf
figure(gcf);
I used this through grad school since I would always lose my figures on the Mac. Since starting here, I discovered the very similar shg() and have made the transition.
  • thesaurus
function thesaurus(word)
%SCd 07/19/2010
%Function to look up synonyms to input word.
%
%Uses www.thesaurus.com
%
%How to use:
% thesaurus('useful')
% thesaurus useful
% thesaurus 'useful'
%
web(['http://thesaurus.com/browse/' num2str(word)],'-browser');
end
  • Sean (my vanity function)
function Sean(varargin)
%Sean is awesome
fprintf('\b is awesome!\n');
end
Is defaulted in my startup.m file
  • vec
function v = vec(m)
%Helper function to turn a matrix of any size into a column vector using (:)
% This function is meant to make one-line computations easy/fast when
% subscripting already.
%SCd 01/04/2011 (First function of 2011!)
%
%Updates: -05/24/2011: Used reshape instead of colon for speed.
%
%Usage: v = vec(m)
%
%Example:
% %Original way to one line the median of a slice of 3d matrix:
% M = repmat(magic(200),[1 1 200]); %200x200x200 magic squares
% Mmed = median(reshape(M(:,:,34),[],1)); %34th slice
%
% %Using the vec() function
% Mmed = median(vec(M(:,:,34)));
%
%Input Arguments:
% -m: matrix of any size
%
%Output Arguments:
% -v: m(:)
%
%See Also: colon reshape
%
v = reshape(m,numel(m),1);
end
  • wpwd
function wpwd
%winopen(pwd)
winopen(pwd)
end

  3 Comments

Matt Fig
Matt Fig on 20 Sep 2012
Thanks for sharing these, Sean!
Daniel Shub
Daniel Shub on 21 Sep 2012
Sean can you elaborate on "Updates: -05/24/2011: Used reshape instead of colon for speed." Have you thought about just using linear indexing instead of the reshape?
Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 21 Sep 2012
@Daniel, so:
x((1:numel(x)).')
?
It's about 2000x slower on my system:
t1 = 0;
t2 = 0;
for ii = 1:100
tic
v = reshape(m,numel(m),1);
t1=t1+toc;
tic
v2 = m((1:numel(m))');
t2 = t2+toc;
end
t2/t1
Reshape is blazingly fast since it just modifies some header information.

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Robert Cumming
Robert Cumming on 20 Sep 2012
I second home - its very useful, the number of times I've had to go to a colleagues screen to help them debug and they have typed clc thinking they are helping me start - but of course that clears the error and any messages on the screen....
My favourite - its not a snippet but a code I would struggle to do wihtout since I work on multiple project is my SaveEditorHistory FEX.

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Srinivas
Srinivas on 20 Sep 2012
I have a lazy shortcut to open the current folder I am working in
system(strcat('%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe',' "',pwd,'"'));
:)

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Jan
Jan on 20 Sep 2012
Even "%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe" will work under Windows only, Sean.

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Shane
Shane on 21 Sep 2012
I use uigetfile and uigetdir day in and day out, so when I am writing a new code I always add this code to the beginning of my function and I love it:
if isappdata(0,'previousDirectory')
startDirectory=getappdata(0,'previousDirectory');
if isnumeric(startDirectory)
startDirectory='C:\';
end
else
startDirectory='C:\';
end
[uigf1 uigf2]=uigetfile('*.bdf','SelectFile to Load',startDirectory);
setappdata(0,'previousDirectory',uigf2);
Simply saves my directory location so that I dont start at C:\MyDocuments|MATLAB every time.

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Darik
Darik on 21 Sep 2012
I'm a clumsy typist...
function hepl (x)
help (x)
end

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Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 21 Sep 2012
Tyop corrections in R2012b!!
hepl fmincon
Undefined function 'hepl' for input arguments of type 'char'.
Did you mean:
>> help fmincon
I already highlighted this as my second favorite new feature:

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