MATLAB Answers


Matlab help not displaying correctly

Asked by Diego
on 2 Oct 2013
Latest activity Commented on by Joseph Gallagher on 22 Feb 2016


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.


I have the same problem with R2013a Win7 64 bit.

I'm seeing the same behavior in WIN 7; noted after I installed major WIN 7 update in early Nov 2013. If anyone has workarounds or solutions, please do post. Thanks in advance!

Here is the windows 7 update I installed:

Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2830477)

Installation date: ‎11/‎14/‎2013 10:27 AM

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Optional

Install this update to resolve issues in Windows. For a complete listing of the issues that are included in this update, see the associated Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. More information: Help and Support:

on 23 Nov 2013

i am also facing the same problem .



No products are associated with this question.

5 Answers

Answer by Benjamin
on 8 Jan 2014
 Accepted answer

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.


Because it happens all the time. If there are two responses that are the same - me and someone else - 95% of the time people will pick the other person . Sometimes I don't know why, just unlucky I guess. Look at my acceptance ratio vs. Walter, Azzi, Andrei, or Greg - it's way lower.

Other times I scare people by giving well commented, complete demos with descriptive variable names so that the code is flexible, general and robust. Though the code is better, it is longer and it frightens people and they go with the inflexible answer with things hard-coded in there because it's shorter. Of course they then come back and say "yes but it doesn't work for this other situation...".

Matt J
on 8 Jan 2014

I accepted Ben's answer just for visibility's sake. His answer explicitly mentioned a more current solution on the issue and the info I added in my comment was still more current.

If you follow the link IA referenced, you would also eventually get to the most current info, but I was just trying to make it easiest for people who stumbled into this thread. +1 to IA though for providing the authoritative link.

Fantastic, that worked, Thank you!

Answer by Image Analyst
on 22 Nov 2013

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.

  1 Comment

Unfortunately no fix, other than to upgrade to R2013b. See

Answer by Yifan
on 3 Apr 2014
Edited by Yifan
on 5 Apr 2014

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. 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!


Answer by vijay sai
on 24 Mar 2014


Answer by Jared
on 28 Jan 2014

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/'...

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.


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