A GUI (graphical user interface) allows users to perform tasks interactively through controls such as buttons and sliders. Within MATLAB®, GUI tools enable you to perform tasks such as creating and customizing plots (plottools), fitting curves and surfaces (cftool), and analyzing and filtering signals (sptool). You can also create custom GUIs for others to use – either by running them in MATLAB or as standalone applications.
GUIDE (GUI development environment) provides tools for designing and programming GUIs. Using the GUIDE Layout Editor, you can graphically design your GUI. GUIDE then automatically generates the MATLAB code that defines all component properties and establishes a framework for GUI callbacks (routines that execute when a user interacts with a GUI component).
For more control over design and development, you can also create MATLAB code that defines all component properties and behaviors. MATLAB contains built-in functionality to help you create your GUI programmatically. These include dialog boxes, user interface controls (such as push buttons and sliders), containers (such as panels and button groups), and ActiveX controls for Windows users.