About MATLAB Answers

MATLAB Answers™ provides a collaborative environment for finding the best answers to your questions about MATLAB, Simulink, and related products. You can tap into the knowledge and experience of over 100,000 MATLAB Central members and MathWorks employees. Specifically, you can:

Your use of MATLAB Answers is subject to the MATLAB Central Terms of Use.

Search for Questions and Answers

Before you ask a question, search to see if the question already exists or has been answered. You can use filters to refine your search. You can filter by status (answered, answer accepted, or unanswered), category, product, or date asked.

You can also use tags or search directives. All questions are tagged with one or more keywords to help community members find questions and answers of interest.

When searching for an answer, select the best answer based on usefulness and votes, which help indicate quality.

Using Tags

Tags provide bookmark information to help find or recall content. You are required to enter at least one tag when you ask a question. With tags, you can browse using assigned keywords. All tags are public; anyone can view them.

Using Search Directives

Search directives help you find content on MATLAB Answers. You can specify search directives in the search box or as edits you make to the URL.

Content Result Directive Examples
Content with this tag tag:
Content asked, answered, or commented by this contributor contributor:
Content asked by this contributor asked_by:
Content answered by this contributor

answered_by:

Content commented by this contributor commented_by:
Content asked within last 7 or 30 days asked_at:
Questions based on this status: accepted, answered, or unanswered status:
Contributors with a public profile in which the Company/Organization field contains this string organization:
Answers that include this string answer:
Comments that include this string comment:
Questions that include this string question:
Titles that include this string title:
Content with this category name category:
Content related to this product product:

Relevance and search results

Search directives can lead you to the right questions and answers quickly. If you use keywords in your search, results are sorted by relevance. Otherwise, results are sorted by date updated.

What factors influences relevance?

Multiple factors affect relevance, including:

  • The title of a question—make titles as descriptive as possible to optimize relevance.
  • Tags associated with a question—make tags as descriptive as possible to optimize relevance.
  • Products associated with a question.
  • Whether the question has an accepted answer.
  • The number of answers the question received.
  • The number of votes the question received.

Tips for Using Directives

  • To search for a multi-word phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks; for example, author:"Helen Chen".
  • To narrow search results, use combinations of directives in the same search. Be sure to include a space between each directive. MATLAB Answers finds content matching all specified directives.
  • To search for more than one value for the same directive, specify one directive for each value. For example, the syntax tag:graphics tag:vectors finds all files tagged with both graphics and vectors.
  • To exclude files from your search results, insert a minus sign (-) before the directive syntax. For example, the syntax -tag:game excludes all files with the tag game.

Ask a Question

Before submitting a question, search to make sure it doesn't already exist. If your search did not provide an answer to your specific question, go ahead and ask it. The community is very responsive, so check back soon for answers.

Button on the home page and excerpt from the resulting form for asking a question.

Tips for Asking Good Questions

  • Write descriptive questions that are specific and brief; for example,
    How can I change the line color of a graph using plot?
  • Cite the error number in the title when applicable.
  • Include enough code to reproduce your problem exactly.
  • Share steps that did not solve your problem.
  • Indicate add-on products used, such as toolboxes or blocksets.
  • Avoid words that clutter content, such as hi, urgent, help, thanks, and I’m new.
  • Limit each question to only one issue.

Answer a Question

Provide meaningful and descriptive answers to questions. If you are unable to answer a question because it is not clear, add a comment to the question requesting clarity or more detail.

Excerpt from the form for answering a question.

Tips for Creating Helpful Answers

  • Read the entire body of the question before answering; do not base your answer on only the title.
  • Add a comment to request clarity for an answer.
  • For new questions that were asked and answered before, link to the existing answer from the new question.
  • Be honest and considerate with all responses to all contributors.

Add a Comment

Use comments to communicate with other participants about questions, answers, or comments. You can use comments to thank other contributors for answers to your questions or helpful comments.

A sample comment submitted to an answer.

Tips for Making Comments Helpful

  • Use comments to request clarity on a question, answer, or comment.
  • Write comments that are relevant and brief.
  • Be honest and considerate with all responses to all contributors.
  • Be aware that responses containing profanity, vulgarity, or an offensive tone will be removed.

Add Attachments, Images, and Links

Enhance your questions, answers, or comments with links or attachments.

Insert links

  1. Click Link button on the editing toolbar
  2. Enter the URL and link title.
  3. Click Add Link.

Insert images

  1. Click Image button on the editing tool bar.
  2. Select whether you are uploading from your computer or the Web.
    1. If uploading from your computer, click Choose File to browse and select a file.
    2. If uploading from the Web, enter the URL.
  3. Click Insert Image.

Attach files

  1. Click File attachment button on the editing tool bar.
  2. Click Choose File to browse and select a file.
  3. Click Attach File.

Tips for Attachments

  • Inserting an image embeds it in the body of your content.
  • Attaching a file embeds a link in the body of your content that opens the file.

Attachment rules

You can upload:

  • These file types: .fig, .m, .mat, .mdl, .pdf, .txt, .xls, .zip.
  • These image types: .gif, .jpeg, .png, .bmp.
  • Files or images that are 5 MB or smaller.
  • Up to 10 attachments in a 24 hour time period.
  • If you reach this limit, you can delete an existing attachment and attach a new file or image.

Add a Flag

A flag is a request for review that any contributor can assign to content. Contributors with sufficient privileges can then review and potentially revise, close, or delete the flagged content. 

Questions, answers, and comments can be flagged if unclear, not appropriate, or spam.

Contributors with sufficient privileges are encouraged to improve the record or remove the flag (when the flag itself is inappropriate). The nature of the flag helps determine the action needed. This process helps improve the overall quality of MATLAB Answers. MATLAB Central administrators monitor the flagged content page regularly.

Earn Privileges

As you earn reputation points on MATLAB Answers, you also earn the ability to perform more significant tasks. You can check your profile page to view the reputation points and associated privileges you’ve earned. From this page, you can also check the points required for the next level of privileges. Note that administrators managing the system and editors with previously earned reputations have all privileges.

Editing and deleting questions, answers, and comments requires a high number of reputation points, as shown below. The objective of editing is very simple; make content clear, specific, and short. Good questions lead to good answers and result in a searchable archive with lasting value.

Note: Contributors who have earned sufficient privileges may edit and delete questions, answers, and comments at their discretion. This includes removal of personal attacks, spam, and inappropriate or off-topic content.

Reputation Points Required Privilege Earned Usage Notes
3000 Delete questions, answers, and comments.

Delete content with care. Deletions are permanent; you cannot undo them. Once deleted, new activity is prohibited and content is removed from search results. Candidates for deletions include:

  • Inappropriate content
  • Spam
  • Personal attacks
  • Off-topic content not related to MATLAB, Simulink, or related products

You cannot delete your own questions if they received answers.

2000 Edit questions, answers, and comments.

Edit to address:

  • Rudeness in content. Rewrite in a neutral tone.
  • Multiple, unrelated questions posted in one question field. Separate and repost as individual questions with attribution, or ask the contributor to post.
  • Questions posted in answer fields. Delete this content and repost as a question, attributing the contributor, or ask the contributor to post.
  • Pleasantries and non-related comments posted in answer fields. Copy this content to a new comment for the appropriate answer, attribute the contributor, and then delete the non-answer.
  • Unclear titling. Ensure that question titles are descriptive and specific.

Optionally edit as follows for improved community usage:

  • Correct misspelled words and fix fractured grammar.
  • Set code in monospace font using indentation. See markup syntax.
  • Add correct syntax for hyperlinks or images. See markup syntax.
  • Format links to documentation as follows:
    <doc_url |function name|>
    .
  • Capitalize the first letter in question titles.
  • Make sure product references are correct, including spelling MATLAB using all uppercase letters.
1500 Open closed questions.

No specific usage notes apply at this time.

1500

Close questions.

This privilege temporarily closes the question. If the contributor does not edit or resolve the question within 10 days, the system automatically deletes it from MATLAB Answers.

1500 Delete flags from questions.

No specific usage notes apply at this time.

500 Accept answers to questions.

Answers can only be accepted by someone other than the author of the question after 7 days of inactivity from the author.

50 Delete tags and products from questions.

This privilege deletes the tag or product from the question but not from the community.

  • Delete tags that are meaningless or obstruct searches.
  • Delete products that are not related to the question.
  • Separate tags lumped together by mistake: for example, delete matlab fft and add matlab and fft.
5 Add and edit tags and products for questions. When adding tags and products:
  • Use correct product names in all references.
  • Add standard-usage tags as needed to facilitate searches. For example, use the format r2010b for release numbers (not matlab r2010b or r2010b 7.1). The goal is to avoid diluting the usefulness of tags by creating variations; for example, rand, random, randomness, and randomize. Standard usage for tags will emerge from the community.

Contact us.

Building a Reputation

As a reward for contributing great questions and answers, you earn points. The number of points you earn depends on the action taken. The more points you earn, the greater your reputation—with the bragging rights to match.

When a contributor… You earn…
Accepts your answer 4 points
Votes up your answer 2 points
Votes up your question 1 point