[ Section I ] HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS AND GET A FAST ANSWER

1) Before asking, did you search:

2) Post a substantial question in comprehensible English. Be brief, complete and clear (see also points 3-4). Translating it into English will get you more responses, though is not necessary. You don't have to use the Google Translate capability, though it can't hurt, it can only help by letting a broader audience understand your post. 3) Show what you have attempted so far and if you have got:

- an error then post the whole error message. We need ALL the red text, not just a small part snipped out of it. This means line numbers, actual lines of code that generated the error, traceback to prior functions, etc. - everything that is in red color.
- unwanted results, then post a brief example of your inputs and the desired output.

4) If it's a homework problem or class assignment that you will be graded on, assign a tag of "homework" and read this. 5) Provide standalone code that is properly indented and properly formatted AS code: how to format your question with markup. Use the paperclip icon to attach all m-files, fig files, data files (.mat, .txt, .csv, etc.) necessary for people to run your code. In MATLAB, BEFORE you paste into Answers, highlight your code, then type control-a (to select all text) then control-i (to properly indent your text). Then paste it into the Answers edit text box. Then highlight your code and click the Code icon on the Answers toolbar to properly format it. A common cause for delays in getting an acceptable solution is posting code that doesn't run because it was snipped out of the middle of a program and required variables were assigned in code above that was not included with the Answers post. 6) Before you click on the submit button, review your question for misspelling.

7) Use the Products section to list the toolboxes that are relevant to your question. You don't need to list MATLAB - it's assumed that if MATLAB is not listed that you are using MATLAB.

8) Say what version you are using . Sometimes functions come into existence at a particular version and if you have a really old version you may not be able to use the solution and you would need alternate solution that will work for your old version.

9) Use relevant tags. Tags such as MATLAB, MATLAB Code, help me, error, etc. are not helpful because they add no additional useful information that someone could use to decide if they have expertise about your problem or not.

10) If you're dealing with an image, plot, graph, etc. use the insert picture icon on the Answers tool ribbon to attach a screenshot of it.

11) if you see that your question has one answer, make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the page so that you see the official Answers section. Sometimes people will post a comment up top, immediately under the question in the comments section, and then the questionner thinks that is the answer and doesn't realize that there is an actual answer further down the page.

How to thank people who helped you:

1) If (and only if) one of the answers is the solution for your problem, click Accept this answer, and say thank you in a comment. Volunteers prefer a actual Thank You comment rather than a "thanks in advance" in your original question, and then never hear from you ever again (so they don't know whether their answer was even read by you).

2) Vote for good answers. Voting and Accepting give the person "reputation points" which can earn them privileges in the forum. You can vote for more than one Answer and you can even Vote for the one you Accepted to give that author double reputation points.

3) Do not accept your own answer unless it is the best complete/detailed solution and you formulated it independently without using any of the information provided by the others who offered answers.

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[ Section II ] EXAMPLES OF GOOD QUESTIONS:

Example 1: How can I speed up this loop?

A = [];

for k = 1 : 10

A = [A, k];

end

Example 2: I get an error. What caused it and how do I fix it?

>> foo

??? Subscript indices must either be real positive integers or logicals.

Error in ==> foo at 5

B(loc)

This is the function:

function foo

A = 1 : 10;

B = 0 : 1;

[tf, loc] = ismember(A, B);

B(loc)

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[ Section III ] DON'Ts:

All of the following points are addressed in section [I] or by common sense.

- Don't use demanding or commanding tone
- Don't use textspeak such as plz, u, r, ur, kewl, abt, thx, b/c, etc. Some English speakers don't even know what those are, and it's even more difficult for non-native English speakers.
- Don't ask for turn-key, ready to use code
- Don't ask to solve your homework. Certainly don't just copy and paste your homework with not additional information about what you tried or what you are having trouble with. Read this homework tutorial.
- Don't use URGENT in any part of your post and why your post is NOT urgent.
- Don't assign useless tags that don't convey additional information, such as matlab, matlab code, matlab function, matrix, array, help, please, urgent, error, etc. Don't assign a tag of matlab coder unless you're actually using the MATLAB Coder product, and if then, list it in the product section.
- Don't use HEEELP, MATLAB, PLEASE in your title. Use a meaningful title.
- Don't post your code in the comments. Edit your original question adding formatted code.
- Don't put the whole question into the subject line or the tag. Keep those short.
- Don't post duplicate questions.
- Don't post multiple answers on the same thread (don't rely on chronological order of answers then). Use comments.
- If you want to answer a question, don't answer it in the comments section at the top. Go down a little and answer it in the Answers section.

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[ Section IV ] HOW DO I KNOW IF I ASKED THE QUESTION CORRECTLY?

- You got a quick answer which solved your problem.

Otherwise:

- Some of the DON'Ts may apply to your post.
- You have been asked to post more details (so it was confusing or ambiguous, or you left out code or data needed to run the code.
- You didn't format your code properly, so people cannot read it.
- You have been tagged with: doit4me, givemecode, homework, assignment, no attempt, sendit2me etc. For a detailed description of the purpose and use of tags see: a guide to tags.
- You got no Answers and no Comments at all.
- Your question may be so esoteric, so specific, that there are very few people who know how to answer your question, and perhaps the only one who can answer it just has not seen it yet.

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[Section V: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS]

In alphabetical order by nickname, thanks for their suggestions to:

Andrew Newell, Andy, Image Analyst, Jan Simon, Jiro Doke, Matt Fig, Matt Tearle, Paulo Silva, Randy Souza, Rick Rosson, Sean de, and Walter Roberson

[LOG]

Edits to enhance visibility of the post will not be recorded.

- ...................... - created
- 06 Aug 2011, 11:17 BST - added log
- 07 Aug 2011, 00:05 BST - added tutorial series section
- 08 Aug 2011, 06:16 BST - added other links section and changed links in section [I.4]
- 18 Aug 2011, 01:44 BST - minor edits
- 04 Sep 2011, 12:16 BST - [I.5] into [I.1] + reordered; new [I.5]; minor edits
- 10 dec 2011, 19:09 GMT - minor edits to [I.2] and [III]
- 20 Feb 2012, 14:38 GMT - added "refresh" suggestion to [I.5]
- 22 Feb 2012, 17:30 GMT - edited [III], why your post is NOT urgent
- 05 Jun 2012, 14:44 BST - Added link to MathWorks Documentation Center (Beta)
- 02 Aug 2012, 19:34 BST - Added link to "A guide to tags" in [IV] and [OTHER Links]
- 15 Oct 2012, 15:30 BST - Substituted link to Beta documentation (now adopted) with docs for Previous releases

[TUTORIAL Series]

[OTHER LINKS]

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Please, suggestions are welcome.

Edit: Removed line about not being able to unaccept answers as no longer being true (Adam)

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