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Create Help for Classes

Help Text from the doc Command

When you use the doc command to display help for a class, MATLAB® automatically displays information that it derives from the class definition.

For example, create a class definition file named someClass.m with several properties and methods, as shown.

classdef someClass
    %someClass Summary of this class goes here
    %   Detailed explanation goes here
    
    properties
        One     % First public property
        Two     % Second public property
    end
    properties (Access=private)
        Three   % Do not show this property
    end
      
    methods
        function obj = someClass
            % Summary of constructor
        end
        function myMethod(obj)
            % Summary of myMethod
            disp(obj)
        end
    end
    methods (Static)
        function myStaticMethod
            % Summary of myStaticMethod
        end
    end
    
end

View the help text and the details from the class definition using the doc command.

doc someClass

Custom Help Text

You can add information about your classes that both the doc command and the help command include in their displays. The doc command displays the help text at the top of the generated HTML pages, above the information derived from the class definition. The help command displays the help text in the Command Window. For details, see:

Classes

Create help text for classes by including comments on lines immediately after the classdef statement in a file. For example, create a file named myClass.m, as shown.

classdef myClass
    % myClass   Summary of myClass
    % This is the first line of the description of myClass.
    % Descriptions can include multiple lines of text.
    %
    % myClass Properties:
    %    a - Description of a
    %    b - Description of b
    %
    % myClass Methods:
    %    doThis - Description of doThis
    %    doThat - Description of doThat

    properties
        a
        b
    end
    
    methods
        function obj = myClass
        end
        function doThis(obj)
        end
        function doThat(obj)
        end
    end
    
end

Lists and descriptions of the properties and methods in the initial comment block are optional. If you include comment lines that contain the name of your class followed by Properties or Methods and a colon (:), then MATLAB creates hyperlinks to the help for the properties or methods.

View the help text for the class in the Command Window using the help command.

help myClass
  myClass   Summary of myClass
  This is the first line of the description of myClass.
  Descriptions can include multiple lines of text.
 
  myClass Properties:
     a - Description of a
     b - Description of b

  myClass Methods:
     doThis - Description of doThis
     doThat - Description of doThat 

Methods

Create help for a method by inserting comments immediately after the function definition statement. For example, modify the class definition file myClass.m to include help for the doThis method.

       function doThis(obj)
        % doThis  Do this thing
        %   Here is some help text for the doThis method.
        %
        %   See also DOTHAT.
        
        disp(obj)
        end        

View the help text for the method in the Command Window using the help command. Specify both the class name and method name, separated by a dot.

help myClass.doThis
  doThis  Do this thing
    Here is some help text for the doThis method.

    See also doThat.

Properties

There are two ways to create help for properties:

  • Insert comment lines above the property definition. Use this approach for multiline help text.

  • Add a single-line comment next to the property definition.

Comments above the definition have precedence over a comment next to the definition.

For example, modify the property definitions in the class definition file myClass.m.

    properties
        a          % First property of myClass

        % b - Second property of myClass
        % The description for b has several 
        % lines of text.
        b          % Other comment
    end

View the help for properties in the Command Window using the help command. Specify both the class name and property name, separated by a dot.

help myClass.a
 a -  First property of myClass
help myClass.b
  b - Second property of myClass
  The description for b has several 
  lines of text.

Enumerations

Like properties, there are two ways to create help for enumerations:

  • Insert comment lines above the enumeration definition. Use this approach for multiline help text.

  • Add a single-line comment next to the enumeration definition.

Comments above the definition have precedence over a comment next to the definition.

For example, create an enumeration class in a file named myEnumeration.m.

classdef myEnumeration
    enumeration
        uno,         % First enumeration

        % DOS - Second enumeration
        % The description for DOS has several 
        % lines of text.
        dos          % A comment (not help text)
    end
end

View the help in the Command Window using the help command. Specify both the class name and enumeration member, separated by a dot.

help myEnumeration.uno
uno -  First enumeration
help myEnumeration.dos
  dos - Second enumeration
  The description for dos has several 
  lines of text.

Events

Like properties and enumerations, there are two ways to create help for events:

  • Insert comment lines above the event definition. Use this approach for multiline help text.

  • Add a single-line comment next to the event definition.

Comments above the definition have precedence over a comment next to the definition.

For example, create an class in a file named hasEvents.m.

classdef hasEvents < handle
   events
       Alpha     % First event

       % Beta - Second event
       % Additional text about second event.
       Beta      % (not help text)
   end
   
   methods
       function fireEventAlpha(h)
           notify(h,'Alpha');
       end
       
       function fireEventBeta(h)
           notify(h,'Beta');
       end
   end
end

View the help in the Command Window using the help command. Specify both the class name and event, separated by a dot.

help hasEvents.Alpha
 Alpha -  First event
help hasEvents.Beta
  Beta - Second event
  Additional text about second event.

See Also

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