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MlxShake Tutorial


MlxShake provides tools for converting Matlab Live Scripts to Markdown files. This is useful in generating rich documentation for Matlab programs.

The main function is exportlivescript. There are also mlx2latex and lslatex2markdown functions for the individual steps of the process which give you finer-grained control over export options.

This Tutorial itself is generated from a Live Script using MlxShake!

Installation and Setup

Download the project’s distribution or clone the repo and put it somewhere on your disk.

Add its Mcode directory to your Matlab path using Matlab’s addpath() function.

Usage: Simple

All the code lives in the janklab.mlxshake package.

Call exportlivescript(mlxFile) on your .mlx Live Script file to export it to Markdown.


Usage: Advanced

Step 1: Export your Live Script to LaTeX using mlx2latex


This will generate README.tex. All the related images, such as included images and generated figures, are saved under the folder README_images next to the .tex file.

WARNING: When exporting to LaTeX right after running the Live Script, it’s observed that the figures will be exported as EPS files or not at all if the Live Script contains more than 20 figures. I suggest that you close the script, reopen it, and then export to LaTeX.

Step 2: Convert the LaTeX to Markdown using lslatex2markdown


This will generate, a Markdown file suitable for GitHub.

The latex2markdown function supports the following options:

The arguments are passed as a janklab.mlxshake.ExportOptions object, so you need to stick them in a {...}.

See the helptext and source code for latex2markdown for more details.

Example: A Markdown file suitable for Qiita, named, will be generated by the following command:

janklab.mlxshake.lslatex2markdown('README', {'markdownPublishTarget', 'qiita', 'outFile', 'QiitaDraft'});

Note: Qiita is a tech blog platform in Japanese. Qiita uses Markdown for its posts.

Usage: Running from the Command Line

You can also run MlxShake from the Mac or Linux command line (shell) using the bin/mlxshake program. This makes it easy to integrate MlxShake into automated document generation workflows.

$ ./bin/mlxshake MyLiveScript.mlx --format html

Differences Between GitHub and Qiita Markdown Formats

One is the equations and the other is how to insert the image files.

Qiita allows you to use LaTeX to represent equations (like GitLab?) whereas GitHub does not. For GitHub, MlxShake uses CODECOGS ( to render the equations as images.

Rendering equations with CODECOGS is done by sticking CODECOGS query URLs in image references in the Markdown. The image files are fetched from codecogs at document viewing time; they are not stored locally. This may not be suitable for all use cases.

For images, you can just push the image folders and then the README reads them, but you need to drag \& drop your images inside the Qiita Editor.

Supported Syntax in Live Scripts

A Fiddly Bit First

Let’s use a localized random generator stream, so this script produces the same output every time it’s run, but doesn’t interfer with your Matlab session’s global random state:

myRand = RandStream('dsfmt19937', 'Seed', 420);

Matlab Code

Matlab code and its output will be shown as follows:

% Matlab code
x = linspace(0, 2*pi, 100);
y = sin(x)
y = 1x100
         0    0.0634    0.1266    0.1893    0.2511    0.3120    0.3717    0.4298    0.4862    0.5406    0.5929    0.6428    0.6901    0.7346    0.7761    0.8146    0.8497    0.8815    0.9096    0.9341    0.9549    0.9718    0.9848    0.9938    0.9989    0.9999    0.9969    0.9898    0.9788    0.9638    0.9450    0.9224    0.8960    0.8660    0.8326    0.7958    0.7557    0.7127    0.6668    0.6182    0.5671    0.5137    0.4582    0.4009    0.3420    0.2817    0.2203    0.1580    0.0951    0.0317

Figure Plots

Matlab figure plots look like this:

% Figures
plot(x, y);


Table Display

The display of table arrays will be formated like so:

array2table(rand(myRand, 3, 4))
  Var1 Var2 Var3 Var4
1 0.1113 0.4581 0.3936 0.4607
2 0.4475 0.9551 0.9174 0.7811
3 0.7308 0.2488 0.1130 0.2779

BUG: If the table contains multicolumn variables, the format is not perfect. Column headings will not be placed correctly.

table(rand(myRand, 3, 4))
1 0.0163 0.3589 0.4683 0.0667
2 0.2430 0.2769 0.7698 0.7961
3 0.9317 0.5769 0.5706 0.8375

(Any suggestions to handle merged cells in Markdown are appreciated!)

Code Examples

Live Script “Code Examples” are the non-executable formatted code blocks that display code but do not evaluate it when the script is run.

“MATLAB” Code Examples are rendered as follows:

% Matlab Code Example display
x = linspace(0, 1, 100);
y = sin(x);
plot(x, y);

“Plain” Code Examples look like this:

# Python code
print('Hello, world!')
my_dict = {'foo': 42, 'bar': [1, 2, 3]}

Inline Images

Here’s a display of an inline image (an image pasted into the Live Script, as opposed to figure display output).


“Panda cat” by fox_kiyo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Mathematical Equations

Any equations in Live Scripts will be exported as LaTeX. For GitHub, CODECOGS helps display them by rendering them as images at document viewing time.

Here’s an inline equation: Some math equation.

If you have multiple lines of equations:

Some math equation

Single line equations look like this:

Some math equation


Here’s a unordered list:

Here’s an ordered list:

  1. Item one
  2. Item two
  3. Item three

Font Styles

Here are the complete list of font styles available in Live Editor:

And some conbinations of styles:

Note that underlines do not show up in the Markdown! (I think this is because Markdown doesn’t have markup for underlines?)


There isn’t a Live Script “quotation” feature, but MlxShake converts centered paragraphs to Markdown quotations.

This centered paragraph in the Live Script is rendered as a quotation in Markdown.

Feedback and Support

Hope this accelerates your Matlab life! Any comments and suggestions are welcome. Visit the project repo at