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What Is a UI?

A user interface (UI) is a graphical display in one or more windows containing controls, called components, that enable a user to perform interactive tasks. The user does not have to create a script or type commands at the command line to accomplish the tasks. Unlike coding programs to accomplish tasks, the user does not need to understand the details of how the tasks are performed.

UI components can include menus, toolbars, push buttons, radio buttons, list boxes, and sliders—just to name a few. UIs created using MATLAB® tools can also perform any type of computation, read and write data files, communicate with other UIs, and display data as tables or as plots.

The following figure illustrates a simple UI that you can easily build yourself.

The UI contains these components:

  • An axes component

  • A pop-up menu listing three data sets that correspond to MATLAB functions: peaks, membrane, and sinc

  • A static text component to label the pop-up menu

  • Three buttons that provide different kinds of plots: surface, mesh, and contour

When you click a push button, the axes component displays the selected data set using the specified type of 3-D plot.

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