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Exporting Favorites (bookmarks) from the Help browser for migration

Asked by Jim

Jim (view profile)

on 26 Sep 2012

I'm about to step up from R2010b to R2012b. Last time I did this, all my bookmarks to help browser pages went bye-bye. I've been dredging through my C drive in the hope of finding these saved in some XML file, but that seems a monumental task. Does anyone know how to export & re-import these during migration to a new version?



Jim (view profile)


1 Answer

Answer by Wendy Fullam

Wendy Fullam (view profile)

on 1 Oct 2012
Accepted answer

There should be a “shortcuts.xml” file in your prefdir, in which Help browser bookmarks are stored.

Prefdir can be found by typing “prefdir” at the MATLAB command prompt.



Jim (view profile)

on 1 Oct 2012

Thank you. It was interesting to see that the shortcuts.xml in my prefdir gave paths to help pages slightly different than what appeared for a given page after invoking View->Page Location. That would show a typical path as:

docroot '/techdoc/ref/<topic>.html'

except that no such file existed in that directory. The shortcuts.xml file revealed that the real path was

docroot '/techdoc/help.jar!/<topic>.html

The 2010b Help topic "Using the Help Browser" also notes that favorites cannot be migrated between versions of Matlab. I take this as a caveat in case some old bookmarks are broken in a newer version, but it would have been more useful to have included the above procedure along with a caveat like "The following might help you migrate your favorites, but there's no guarantee theyy'll all be functional."


Shahed (view profile)

on 25 May 2013

That is true you are going to run into the broken link issue if you import Matlab Favorites.

However, you can work around the issue. On how to work around the issue, please refer to the following line:


Jim (view profile)

on 5 Jun 2013

Thanks for the update, Shahed.

Wendy Fullam

Wendy Fullam (view profile)

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