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"The Vertex Weights panel can be found in the right Properties region of the 3D View. It is available in Edit Mode and in Weight Paint Mode (when Vertex Selection masking is enabled as well). The panel is separated into the sections"

What does it mean by 3d view (is that the default view?)? No vertex weights panel shows up at all. Yes I pressed N.

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The 3D view is the view you normally work in when modelling. I assume that's what you mean by default view.

The Vertex Weights can be found in the Vertex Groups when in Edit mode and if you enable the Vertex selection masking it's also available in Weight Paint mode.

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To enable Vertex selection masking, click the icon that is marked in the image below.
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An overview of what the different parts of Blender are called.

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For the vertex weights panel (not to be confused with the vertex groups panel) to appear, you need to be in vertex select mode in edit mode and have a vertex that is associated with one or more vertex groups as the active selection. It should then appear on the 'N' panel.

For more info for others (the question quotes the manual): https://www.blender.org/manual/modeling/meshes/vertex_groups/weight_edit.html

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Vertex Weight will only appear after the weight has been assigned a vertex group. In my example you will see it appear after I add some weight paint which automatically creates a vertex group. If you select more vertices that include vertices without a vertex group it will disappear from the properties window again. [I admit I find this confusing behavior]

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It's in the mesh tab of the properties window and it's called vertex groups:

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