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Does Notebook Suite still exist

Asked by Kenneth Dunipace on 9 Nov 2018
Latest activity Commented on by Michelle Hirsch on 26 Nov 2018
Has MATLAB Notebook Suite been discontinued? If not, where can I find current documentation on installing and activating it? If it has, is there some new "product" that offers similar capabilities. I haven't found anything that comes even close when trying to create a documentary "history" of a design process.

  2 Comments

Live Editor perhaps?
Thanks Walter. I did stumble across it, totally by accident. Nothing in the Mathworks Help structure even mentioned it. It looks as if it may serve the purpose, but doesn't seem as convenient (seamless?) as the old Notebook system.

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2 Answers

Answer by Michelle Hirsch on 12 Nov 2018

The Notebook interface has been removed. The documentation mentions this change and points to the Live Editor as an alternative:
I'm interested in your comment that it doesn't feel as seamless. I've used both and always found it really awkward to write MATLAB code in Microsoft word. I'd end up writing it in MATLAB then copying it over to Word once I get it right. With Live Editor (and with script publishing before it) I've found it much easier to just write my code in MATLAB to build a document that includes MATLAB code and output.
One small note - if you specifically want a Microsoft Word document, the Live Editor does not yet support export to Word (it supports PDF, LaTeX and HTML). The workaround is to save your live script as a MATLAB Code File (.m) which you can then publish to a Word document.

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Thanks for the additional insight. It's definitely true that the Live Editor won't fully replicate the breadth of capabilities of a dedicated word processor, but we hope to support the vast majority of key use cases. For instance, you can easily import photos into the Live Editor even pasting them from other programs. There's also a really nice interactive equation editor which works a lot like MathType, with the extra capability of allowing for LaTeX-like keyboard shortcuts like \pi.
Cheers!
Congratulations: A problem, that had been solved for over 20 years, is a problem again.
  • For my work the abolishment of the Notebook functionality is a real deprivation: for allmost 20 years we did our technical documentation using the MATLAB notebook. You have rendered this work partly unaccessible and useless to a good deal. The unification of code, text, pictures, formulae and all in a standard format document, easily being handed over to anybody who has access to Word (and who does not), made the Notebook solution our first choice.
  • Often our word notebook documents were quite long.With its navigator functionality Word helped not to drown in these documents.
  • Think of the lots of ways to structure a document (hierarchy of headlines)
  • It is ridiculous to to compare the capabilities of Word with those of "Live Editor": it is comparing an old fruitful garden with a freshly dug beet. It is just poor.
  • Especially with the last Word and MATLAB editions the notebook was very mature indeed, not prone to crashes and thanks to the recovery features of Word almost bulletproof.
  • On the other hand Live Editor crashes from time to time, especially when such a document becomes a bit long and full of pictures.
Im am very annoyed about that!
I think, a tool like the Word navigator and more hierarchical levels for structuring the document, not to mention improoved stability might help a bit.
dietmar dr neugebauer,
Glad to see I'm not the only one that misses Notebook.
You've said it more forcefully and elegantly than I, but we seem to agree completely.

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Answer by Kenneth Dunipace on 13 Nov 2018

True, but Notebook operating as a Word format for MATLAB seemed to completely replicate the capabilities of both MATLAB and Word when needed for composing a technical report surely a large class of users. Could it be that there was a contractual breakdown between Mathworks and Microsoft?

  3 Comments

No, it was just about lack of usage.
We actually have two very different solutions for technical reports. Live Editor/publish are great when the code is front and center to the story telling. The MATLAB Report Generator is great when the document is front and center. Among other uses, it lets you populate Word templates with the output of MATLAB code. This lets you take full advantage of Word as a word processor and use MATLAB as an automation, analytic, and visualization engine.
Michelle,
See long attachment. Ignore if you choose.
Ken Dunipace
Thanks for sharing your history with MATLAB and perspective on its evolution. These are precisely the things that I (personally) and the team think about every day - "how do we keep moving MATLAB forward to keep up with the increasing demands on it while preserving the core of what has made it such a powerful tool for millions of engineers and scientists over the past several decades." It's definitely a challenge, striving to maintain this balance as we think about the design of the language, the functions, and the interface.
I'm disappointed to hear your reaction that MATLAB seems too focused on programmers, but accept the feedback. I heard feedback like that quite a bit earlier this decade, especially as object-oriented designs proliferated. This feedback triggered a renewed focus on designing for non-programmers. I happen to think we've done quite well with this, but appreciate that ultimately all of the parts of the system can add up differently for any given user.

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