You can customize the visual display and functionality of the Editor and Debugger using Editor/Debugger preferences.
Note: Most preference changes do not apply in live scripts.
You can specify which editor MATLAB® uses, as well as how the MATLAB Editor behaves under various circumstances.
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select Editor/Debugger, and then adjust preference options as described in the table below.
Select which editor you want the MATLAB desktop to use when you edit a file:
If you select Text editor,
specify the full path for the editor application you want to use,
such as Emacs or vi. For example,
Most recently used file list
In the Number of entries field, type the number of files that you want to appear in the list of recently used files at the bottom of the File menu.
Opening files in editor
Select On restart reopen files from previous MATLAB sessions if you want the Editor and the files it contained during your last MATLAB session to reopen when you restart MATLAB.
Select Automatically open files when MATLAB reaches a breakpoint to open a running program file when MATLAB encounters a breakpoint in that file.
Automatic file changes
Select Save changes upon clicking away from a file if you want the Editor to automatically save changes to a file in the Editor when you click away from the Editor. For the changes to be automatically saved upon clicking away from the Editor, you must have already saved the file at least once.
Select Reload unedited files that have been externally modified if you want the Editor to automatically reload the version of a file that you opened and edited outside of MATLAB when the file currently open in the Editor has no unsaved changes.
Select Add line termination at end of file to
have MATLAB add a new empty line (sometimes referred to as a
You can change the appearance of the Editor.
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select Editor/Debugger > Display, and then adjust preference options as described in the table below.
|General display option|
Select Highlight Current Line and select a color to highlight the row with the cursor (also called the caret).
Select Show line numbers to display line numbers along the left edge of the Editor window.
Select Enable data tips in edit mode to display data tips when you are editing a MATLAB code file. (Data tips are always enabled in debug mode.)
For details, see View Variable Value.
|Right-hand text limit|
Select Show line to display a vertical line with the specified Width and Color at the specified column (Placement) in the Editor.
For details, see Right-Side Text Limit Indicator.
You can specify the size of tabs and indents and details about how tabs behave in the Editor.
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select Editor/Debugger > Tab, and then adjust preference options as described in the table below.
Specify the amount of space inserted when you press the Tab key.
When you change the Tab size, it changes the tab size for existing lines in that file, unless you also select Tab key inserts spaces.
Specify the indent size for smart indenting. Smart indenting is one of the Editor/Debugger Language Preferences.
|Tab key inserts spaces|
Select to insert a series of spaces when you press the Tab key. Otherwise, a tab acts as one space whose length is equal to the Tab size.
|Emacs-style Tab key smart indenting|
Specifies an indenting style similar to the style that the Emacs editor uses.
Lines indent according to smart indenting preferences when you position the cursor in a line or select a group of lines, and then press the Tab key.
Smart indenting is one of the Editor/Debugger Language Preferences.
If you select this preference, you cannot insert tabs within a line.
You can specify how various languages appear in the Editor. MATLAB applies language preferences based on the file extension of the file open in the Editor.
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select Editor/Debugger > Language, and then adjust preference options as described in the table below.
Note: Not all preferences are available for all languages.
Select the language for which you want to set preferences.
Select Enable syntax highlighting to have the Editor use different colors for different language constructs. Then, adjust the colors you want to use for each language element.
Access color options for the MATLAB language by clicking Set syntax colors.
For all other languages, color options appear under Enable syntax highlighting.
For details, see Syntax Highlighting.
Variable and function renaming
MATLAB Language only
Select Enable automatic variable and function renaming to have MATLAB prompt you to rename all instances of a function or variable in a file when you rename a function or variable.
For details on when MATLAB prompts you, see Automatically Rename All Functions or Variables in a File.
MATLAB Language only
In the Maximum column width field, enter the maximum number of characters you want to allow in a line of comments, and then select where you want counting to begin.
Select Wrap comments automatically while typing to automatically wrap comments at the Maximum column width value when you type comments in an Editor document.
If you clear this option, you can still wrap comments manually, as described in Add Comments to Programs.
Select Apply smart indenting while typing to automatically:
This is called smart indenting. You also can manually apply smart indenting after you type the code.
For more information, see Indenting Code.
Select an option from Function Indenting Format (MATLAB Language only) to specify how functions indent in the Editor, as follows:
For more information and examples of each indenting format, see Indenting Code.
Add one or more file extensions to associate with the Language. The preferences you set for that language apply to all files with the listed extensions.
Code folding enables you to expand and collapse blocks of MATLAB code that you want to hide when you are not currently working on them.
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select Editor/Debugger > Code Folding, and then adjust preference options as described in the table below.
For examples and detailed information about code folding, see Code Folding — Expand and Collapse Code Constructs.
|Enable Code Folding|
Specifies whether you want code folding enabled for the programming constructs that have their corresponding Enable check box selected.
Specifies whether you want code folding enabled for the corresponding Programming Construct.
If you select this option for any construct, but clear the Enable Code Folding option, the construct will not have code folding enabled.
|Fold Initially||Specifies whether the corresponding Programming Construct displays collapsed (folded) the first time that you open a MATLAB file.|
You can specify if, when, and how you want MATLAB to automatically back up files that are open in the Editor.
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select Editor/Debugger > Backup Files, and then adjust preference options as described in the table below.
Automatically create backup files while working in the MATLAB Editor
|Select to have MATLAB automatically save a copy of the files you are currently editing.|
|Save options||Save the backup every: |
Save untitled files saves a copy
of new, untitled, files to
there is more than one untitled file, each additional file is saved
For details, see Backing Up Files.
Automatically delete backup files when the Editor closes directs MATLAB to delete the backup file when you close the source file in the Editor.
Select the naming convention you want MATLAB to use for autosave files. For example:
Source file directories specifies that you want backup files stored in the same folder as the files being edited.
Single directory specifies that you want autosave files stored in a single folder. Specify the full path to that folder and be sure you have write permissions for it.
You can quickly format live scripts using autoformatting markup in the Live Editor. You can enable and disable autoformatting as a whole, or as individual options.
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select Editor/Debugger > Autoformatting, and then adjust preference options as described in the table below.
For more information about autoformatting in live scripts, see Autoformatting.
Enable autoformatting in Live Editor
|Select to enable autoformatting options in the Live Editor. Once enabled, options can then be enabled or disabled individually.|
|Select *italic*, **bold** to enable bold
and italic formatting using asterisks (|
|Select _italic_, __bold__ to enable bold
and italic formatting using underscores (|
|Select `monospace`, |monospace| to enable monospace autoformatting.|
|Select %%, ***, or --- for section break to
enable inserting section breaks by entering |
|Select %% text for section break and heading to
enable inserting section breaks with headings by entering |
|Select $LaTeX$ for LaTeX equation to enable
|Select URL for hyperlink to enable converting internet paths automatically to hyperlinks.|
|Select <URL> for hyperlink to enable
converting internet paths to hyperlinks using the format |
|Select [Label](URL) for labeled hyperlink to
enable converting internet paths to labeled hyperlinks using the format |
|Select #text for title to enable inserting
titles using the format |
|Select ##text for heading to enable inserting
headings using the format |
|Select Automatic bulleted lists (*, +, or -) to
enable creating bulleted lists by entering |
|Select Automatic numbered lists (1., 2., etc.) to
enable creating numbered lists by entering |