MATLAB Answers

Can the beep be turned off within MATLAB?

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Jacob Shea
Jacob Shea on 23 Apr 2012
Edited: Stan Driggs on 28 Jul 2020 at 12:50
This beeping beep is absolutely maddening. It's an admittedly petty gripe, but I make heavy use of arrowing up and down through the command history, so I get beeped at quite a lot and it's ruining my life.
After some frustrated googling, it seems this has been asked often over the years but has never been completely answered. I'm leaning towards the infernal beep being some perverse inside joke at The MathWorks, but perhaps the community can set me straight.
Here's my roundup:
  1. "beep off", formerly known as "system_dependent(14,0)", turns off the beep for errors, but does not universally disable the beep (e.g. mismatched delimiters or scrolling to the bottom of the command history still produce a beep).
  2. Mismatched delimiter beeps can be specifically turned off or changed to strikethrough in Preferences > Keyboard > Delimiter Matching.
  3. The beep can be brute force disabled by turning off the default tone in the OS sound settings (e.g. in Windows, set "Default Beep" to "None" in Control Panel > Sound > Sounds).
I'm hoping I just missed the easy answer in my searching. Else #3 seems to be the only recourse, but this will also turn off the default beep for any programs or services that might legitimately need to alert you, as opposed to just needing to irritate you and everyone in earshot. In fact, I make good use of the "beep" command in lengthy scripts to let me know when they finish while I work on something else. Very handy! But guess which command no longer works if you turn off the system beep at the OS level? [File Exchange (search tag:"beep") has some nice alternatives, but still.]
What the beep, Mathworks?

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Daniel Shub
Daniel Shub on 23 Apr 2012
While it seems you have searched around and this is not a particularly useful answer, some discussion of the beep is here:

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Answers (5)

Jens Gronborg
Jens Gronborg on 26 Jul 2018
On windows 10 I simply open volume mixer, and turn down system sounds.

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Pedro Busc
Pedro Busc on 3 Jun 2017
Why they dont just add a configuration option to turn this #@$@#$%@#SD beep off ???? !? !? !? !? !?!?!!!???

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Sören
Sören on 25 Oct 2015
Please. Someone. Answer.

  3 Comments

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 25 Oct 2015
Please clarify your needs: what circumstances are you encountering a beep that you need turned off?
Which operating system and MATLAB release are you using?
Sören
Sören on 25 Oct 2015
I have Matlab 2014b, Windows 7, and I want the Beep turned off under the exact same circumstances as Jacob Shea 3 years ago.
Jan
Jan on 25 Oct 2015
And the answers given in the past are still valid. So I suggest to switch to Linux. Sorry.

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Sayand Sathish
Sayand Sathish on 19 Jun 2020
They implemented a new
beep off
command. It works! Hurrah!

  1 Comment

Stan Driggs
Stan Driggs on 28 Jul 2020 at 12:50
Not new. And 'beep off' only make the 'beep' command silent. Matlab still honks at you every time you hit backspace on the command line!

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Jan
Jan on 23 Apr 2012
Edited: Jan on 25 Oct 2015
I've disabled the the beeping for delimiter matching. Now during standard use of Matlab I hear the beep only when I search in the editor and hit the margin. To reduce the impact of this beep, I've chosen a silent rustle sound.
When exactly do you hear more beeps than you need or want?

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Jacob Shea
Jacob Shea on 23 Apr 2012
While scrolling commands or searching:
* in searching any part of the UI, end-of-search or no result produce a beep.
* Reaching the end of the command history while scrolling produces a beep -- this happens frequently because I recall prior commands by typing in the first few characters and pressing the up-arrow. If there's no match or I reach the end of the matches, it beeps.
I assume you changed the sound to rustling at the OS level? I've also used a less annoying tone than the windows and mac defaults, but my previous comments about that solution still stand. I don't want to hear anything in these instances, without having to modify something at the system level.
Granted there are workarounds and it's not like the system beep is the least bit essential. I'm mostly just irritated at having to work around something so trivial, and am somewhat apoplectic that it can't be changed within Matlab preferences. Kind of like old school MS Office where you had to tell the dumb paperclip or dog to get lost, only to be subjected to the insulting animation of them slowly departing. I'm probably just grumpy, but in searching around this has clearly been making people grumpy since the 90s.
Jacob Shea
Jacob Shea on 23 Apr 2012
@Jan: As for getting feedback, since I'm already staring at the command line looking for the desired prior command I can clearly see when it reaches the end because it reverts to the original entry. So I don't need the audible feedback. In the case of searching it's arguably more useful since the "no results" or "end of search" message appears in the lower left corner and isn't as readily apparent.
Thanks for engaging me on this silly issue, it's good medicine.
Jan
Jan on 23 Apr 2012
I agree that it would be easy and user-friendly to allow a adjustment of the notifications. The different settings for the delimiter matching lead in the right direction.
Whenever my computer beeps too much or the radiator gurgles, I lean back and calm down, because I'm so happy that it is not a tinnitus, such that the sound will disappear as soon, as I shut down the device.

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