Ive installed matlab 2013a on windows 8.1 and when I type doc rand (or doc anything) the help is displayed incorrectly. I have to go the internet to read the documentation.
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This is an old post, but I had the same issue and have a fix (not downloading R2013b or java related). Just downgrade from IE 11 to 10: Go to System (or System & Security)->Windows Update->View Update History->Installed Updates -> Find IE11 and uninstall it. Your system should revert back to the prior installed version. This fixed the help issues.
I just got this problem with Windows 7 and MATLAB r2013A. It was working fine and I've had it up for 3 days until this afternoon. I have not installed any update since I got the release in September (unlike Oleg) so that can't be the problem. Perhaps it was some kind of Java JRE update??? Now I get what you showed in your screenshot:
I've tried exiting MATLAB and restarting and that didn't fix ix. I tried setting preferences to web-based, and back to local and that didn't fix it. A lot of the words are overlapping and there are non-printable characters in there.
It would be great if anyone had a fix, since it seems to be happening more often (to more people). This might be the issue that forces me to update to R2013b in the hopes that a new install will fix it, though I'll have to update dozens of systems I have around the world with new MCR libraries and that would be a pain since it's not always quick to transfer 423 MB half-way around the world.
Here is my problem, which is similar to you, and my solution, which is mainly about fixing the CSS files’ mime type in the Windows. I hope it will help you!
The help browser display is unformatted, i.e. no CSS style sheet file is loaded when rendering the local web page of help document.
System Environment: Windows 8 64bit; MATLAB 2014a; IE 10 (the original version come with Win8)
First, I found this bug report with a solution of applying a patch. http://www.mathworks.com/support/bugreports/989850 I noticed its aim is IE 11, which is not my case. But I still tried it, it didn’t work. I found that solution is about a localnav.js, it just adds some special treatment towards IE11.
Then, I tried to use the chrome and IE to display the web page file:///H:/MATLAB/R2014a/help/images/ref/imshow.html (it should start with your own install directory) the result is, Chrome displays correctly, while IE 10 not
I pressed F12 in IE to get into the Developer Mode and found the console error output: CSS was ignored due to mime type mismatch I came to know that it is the mime type ’s new restriction in IE 10+ that caused this error.
Then I googled the error and found this web page
And I just used the utility called FileTypesMan from NirSoft to have a look at my local OS's mime type setting for .css file. That utility saved my effort in find that in the Microsoft Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
It did help! I found the wrong mime type.
I found my Microsoft Expression Web (which is the successor of FrontPage) have changed the mime type when I installed it. Because I usually use chrome to open the local web page, I never notice that change.
After change it back to text/css, there is no error at all. And both in IE and MATLAB’s Help Browser, the help document is displayed correctly.
Hope that changing the local setting of .css file's mime type can help you too!
In addition to the formatting annoyance of the HelpBrowser and seeing as I have been learning Linux lately, I wrote a function to access doc files using the 'man' function call. This was done literally minutes ago so, while I know there will certainly be some, I have not come across any issues as of yet.
function man(requested_doc) doc_local = strcat('file:///C:/Program%20Files/MATLAB/R2013a/help/matlab/ref/'... ,requested_doc,'.html'); web(doc_local,'-browser'); end
Simple enough. Maybe it will help someone out, that'd make a great introduction for myself to a community I have been lurking around for years.