Share your favorite snippet or utility

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Matt Fig
Matt Fig on 20 Sep 2012
Answered: DGM on 23 Feb 2023
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?"
What are some of yours?
Matt Fig
Matt Fig on 21 Sep 2012
Edited: 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 (11)

José-Luis on 20 Sep 2012
Edited: Matt Fig on 20 Sep 2012
Not really a snippet, but useful.
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:
I keep all my demos that I post here in Answers (that are worthy of keeping) in that folder.
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 &
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 = ...
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];
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(''));
HostNameString = char(;
Eth0Obj ='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));

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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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.

Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 20 Sep 2012
Edited: Sean de Wolski on 20 Sep 2012
  • gohome
%Go home
  • fgcf
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.
%How to use:
% thesaurus('useful')
% thesaurus useful
% thesaurus 'useful'
web(['' num2str(word)],'-browser');
  • Sean (my vanity function)
function Sean(varargin)
%Sean is awesome
fprintf('\b is awesome!\n');
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)
% %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);
  • wpwd
function wpwd
Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 21 Sep 2012
Edited: Sean de Wolski on 21 Sep 2012
@Daniel, so:
It's about 2000x slower on my system:
t1 = 0;
t2 = 0;
for ii = 1:100
v = reshape(m,numel(m),1);
v2 = m((1:numel(m))');
t2 = t2+toc;
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.

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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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')
if isnumeric(startDirectory)
[uigf1 uigf2]=uigetfile('*.bdf','SelectFile to Load',startDirectory);
Simply saves my directory location so that I dont start at C:\MyDocuments|MATLAB every time.

Darik on 21 Sep 2012
I'm a clumsy typist...
function hepl (x)
help (x)
  1 Comment
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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DGM on 23 Feb 2023
For some reason, I can never remember the name of the lookfor() function, and looking for the lookfor() function is a pain when you don't know what it's called.
So I just called it what I expected it to be called
apropos 'modified bessel'
besseli - Modified Bessel function of first kind besselk - Modified Bessel function of second kind besseli - Modified Bessel function of the first kind for symbolic expressions besselk - Modified Bessel function of the second kind for symbolic expressions

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