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Uitoolbar Properties

Describe toolbar properties

Modifying Properties

You can set and query graphics object properties in two ways:

  • The Property Inspector is an interactive tool that enables you to see and change object property values. The Property inspector is available from GUIDE, or use the inspect function at the command line.

  • The set and get functions enable you to set and query the values of properties.

You can set default Uitoolbar properties by typing:


Where h can be the root handle (0), a figure handle, or a uitoolbar handle. PropertyName is the name of the Uitoolbar property and PropertyValue is the value you specify as the default for that property.

For more information about changing the default value of a property see Setting Default Property Values.

Uitoolbar Properties

This section lists all properties useful to uitoolbar objects along with valid values and a descriptions of their use. Curly braces { } enclose default values.




This object is being deleted.


Callback routine interruption.


Handles of uitoolbar's children.


Callback routine executed during object creation.


Callback routine executed during object deletion.


Control access to object's handle.


Callback routine interruption mode.


Handle of uitoolbar's parent.


User-specified object identifier.


Object class.


Uicontextmenu object associated with the uitoolbar


User specified data.


Uitoolbar visibility.


on | {off} (read-only)

This object is being deleted. The BeingDeleted property provides a mechanism that you can use to determine if objects are in the process of being deleted. MATLAB® software sets the BeingDeleted property to on when the object's delete function callback is called (see the DeleteFcn property) It remains set to on while the delete function executes, after which the object no longer exists.

For example, some functions may not need to perform actions on objects that are being deleted, and therefore, can check the object's BeingDeleted property before acting.


cancel | {queue}

Callback queuing

Determines how MATLAB handles the execution of interrupting callbacks.

A running callback is the currently executing callback. The interrupting callback is the callback that tries to interrupt the running callback. The BusyAction property of the interrupting callback determines how MATLAB handles its execution. When the BusyAction property is set to:

  • 'queue' — Puts the interrupting callback in a queue to be processed after the running callback finishes execution.

  • 'cancel' — Discards the interrupting callback as MATLAB finishes execution.

For information about how the Interruptible property of the callback controls whether other callbacks can interrupt the running callback, see the Interruptible property description.


vector of handles

Handles of tools on the toolbar. A vector containing the handles of all children of the uitoolbar object, in the order in which they appear on the toolbar. The children objects of uitoolbars are uipushtools and uitoggletools. You can use this property to reorder the children.


string or function handle

Callback routine executed during object creation. The specified function executes when MATLAB creates a uitoolbar object. MATLAB sets all property values for the uitoolbar before executing the CreateFcn callback so these values are available to the callback. Within the function, use gcbo to get the handle of the toolbar being created.

Setting this property on an existing uitoolbar object has no effect.

You can define a default CreateFcn callback for all new uitoolbars. This default applies unless you override it by specifying a different CreateFcn callback when you call uitoolbar. For example, the statement,


creates a default CreateFcn callback that runs whenever you create a new toolbar. It sets the toolbar visibility to off.

To override this default and create a toolbar whose Visibility property is set to on, you could call uitoolbar with a call similar to

ht = uitoolbar(...,'CreateFcn',...

    Note   To override a default CreateFcn callback you must provide a new callback and not just provide different values for the specified properties. This is because the CreateFcn callback runs after the property values are set, and can override property values you have set explicitly in the uitoolbar call. In the example above, if instead of redefining the CreateFcn property for this toolbar, you had explicitly set Visibility to on, the default CreateFcn callback would have set Visibility back to off.

Do not call copyobj or textwrap (which calls copyobj) inside a CreateFcn. The act of copying the uicontrol object fires the CreateFcn repeatedly, which raises a series of error messages after exceeding the root object's RecursionLimit property.

See Function Handle Callbacks for information on how to use function handles to define a callback function.


string or function handle

Callback routine executed during object deletion. A callback function that executes when the uitoolbar object is deleted (e.g., when you call the delete function or cause the figure containing the uitoolbar to reset). MATLAB executes the routine before destroying the object's properties so these values are available to the callback routine.

Within the function, use gcbo to get the handle of the toolbar being deleted.


{on} | callback | off

Control access to object's handle. This property determines when an object's handle is visible in its parent's list of children. When a handle is not visible in its parent's list of children, it is not returned by functions that obtain handles by searching the object hierarchy or querying handle properties. This includes get, findobj, gca, gcf, gco, newplot, cla, clf, and close. Neither is the handle visible in the parent figure's CurrentObject property. Handles that are hidden are still valid. If you know an object's handle, you can set and get its properties, and pass it to any function that operates on handles.

  • Handles are always visible when HandleVisibility is on.

  • Setting HandleVisibility to callback causes handles to be visible from within callback routines or functions invoked by callback routines, but not from within functions invoked from the command line. This provides a means to protect GUIs from command-line users, while allowing callback routines to have complete access to object handles.

  • Setting HandleVisibility to off makes handles invisible at all times. This may be necessary when a callback routine invokes a function that might potentially damage the GUI (such as evaluating a user-typed string), and so temporarily hides its own handles during the execution of that function.

You can set the root ShowHiddenHandles property to on to make all handles visible, regardless of their HandleVisibility settings. This does not affect the values of the HandleVisibility properties.


{on} | off

Selectable by mouse click. This property has no effect on uitoolbar objects.

    Note:   Use of the uitoolbar HitTest property is not recommended. This property might be removed in a future release.


off | {on}

Callback routine interruption

Controls whether MATLAB can interrupt an object's callback function when subsequent callbacks attempt to interrupt it.

For user interface objects, the Interruptible property affects the callbacks for these properties only:

  • ButtonDownFcn

  • KeyPressFcn

  • KeyReleaseFcn

  • WindowButtonDownFcn

  • WindowButtonMotionFcn

  • WindowButtonUpFcn

  • WindowKeyPressFcn

  • WindowKeyReleaseFcn

  • WindowScrollWheelFcn

A running callback is the currently executing callback. The interrupting callback is the callback that tries to interrupt the running callback. MATLAB handles both callbacks based on the Interruptible property of the object of the running callback.

When the Interruptible property is set to:

  • 'off', MATLAB finishes execution of the running callback without any interruptions

  • 'on', these conditions apply:

    • If there is a drawnow, figure, getframe, waitfor, or pause command in the running callback, then MATLAB executes the interrupting callbacks which are already in the queue and returns to finish execution of the current callback.

    • If one of the above functions is not in the running callback, then MATLAB finishes execution of the current callback without any interruption.

The BusyAction property of the object of interrupting callback determines whether the callback should be ignored or should be put in the queue.

Setting the Interruptible property to on (default), allows a callback from other user interface objects to interrupt callback functions originating from this object.

    Note:   MATLAB does not save the state of properties or the display when an interruption occurs. For example, the handle returned by the gca or gcf command may be changed as another callback is executed.

After the function that interrupts a callback completes, the callback resumes execution where it halted when interrupted. For more information, see Control Callback Execution and Interruption.

    Note:   If the interrupting callback is a DeleteFcnor CreateFcn callback, or a figure's CloseRequest or ResizeFcn callback, it interrupts an executing callback regardless of the value of that object's Interruptible property. The interrupting callback starts execution at the next drawnow, figure, getframe, pause, or waitfor statement. An object's ButtonDownFcn or Callback routine is processed according to the rules described previously in this section.



Uitoolbar parent. The handle of the uitoolbar's parent figure. You can move a uitoolbar object to another figure by setting this property to the handle of the new parent.



User-specified object identifier. The Tag property provides a means to identify graphics objects with a user-specified label. You can define Tag as any string.

With the findobj function, you can locate an object with a given Tag property value. This saves you from defining object handles as global variables. For example, this function call returns the handles of all children (of the specified figures) that have the Tag value 'FormatTb'.

h = findobj(figurehandles,'Tag','FormatTb')

string (read-only)

Object class. This property identifies the kind of graphics object. For uitoolbar objects, Type is always the string 'uitoolbar'.



Associate a context menu with uicontrol. This property has no effect on uitoolbar objects.



User specified data. You can specify UserData as any array you want to associate with the uitoolbar object. The object does not use this data, but you can access it using the set and get functions.


{on} | off

Uitoolbar visibility. By default, all uitoolbars are visible. When set to off, the uitoolbar is not visible, but still exists and you can query and set its properties.

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