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version 1.7 (133 KB) by

Improves Matlab's help functionality for functions that do not have their own help files.

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The doc command will display help written for custom functions in the Help Browser. However, the allowed markup is rather limited. According to the official documentation,, the only thing you can add is a See Also section. Matlab will also recognize a Note section (and a few others) and will highlight the function name if it is in all caps (or mixed case, if the actual function name is mixed case).

This function provides a modified copy of the undocumented help2html.m function, as well as a few other files to enable slightly more markup functionality, making use of the limited html capabilities of the default help browser.
New features include:
Additional custom sections
3 text styles - regular, bold, and code
Definition style lists
Doesn't affect files without %CUSTOM_HELP% tag, so other people's formatting is unaffected.
Style customization using css (by editing helpwin.css)

For BetterHelp to work, the BetterHelp directory containing help2html.m, +myHelpUtils/, and private/ must be on the path. To go back to normal, just delete constructed files or remove the directory from the path.

MathWorks changed the help generation slightly in R2012b, so use BetterHelp2012b if you are running R2012b+, instead of BetterHelp.

Comments and Ratings (4)


Erik (view profile)

Unfortunately seems incompatible with R2016a, I get an error when I run ‘doc help2html’.


Now works as advertised.

I used the patcher utility because I was leery of providing files that are essentially the code from MathWorks, with only a few lines changed. I can submit the actual patched files if that is allowed/ok.
Could you better specify what didn't work? I was unable to do as much testing as I would have liked to, so any input would be welcome. Thanks for trying it though.


Yes the MATLAB help documentation should be improved. However, this submission didn't work for me.

The use of the patching utility is very strange.



Latest upload had the old private folder in BetterHelp2012b rather than the correct one.


Fixed bug with incorrect formatting when function and folder share the same name.


Updated formatting code. Have eased adding custom formatting (see processText in help2html) and fixed some potential formatting bugs. Updated help to reflect changes.


Forgot to fix some private folder in BetterHelp2012b, primarily help2xml.m, which might have caused problems with help for classes. Thanks to Matthew for pointing it out.


Added version for Matlab R2012b and higher, since the help generation was slightly changed in that version.


Removing mypatcher, makehelp, and patch files and provided original modified files.


Changed makehelp to generate files in BetterHelp directory instead of current directory. Updated description to reflect change.

MATLAB Release
MATLAB 7.13 (R2011b)

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