Model Explorer Overview

What You Can Do Using the Model Explorer

Use the Model Explorer to view, modify, and add elements of Simulink® models, Stateflow® charts, and workspace variables. The Model Explorer lets you focus on specific elements (for example, blocks, signals, and properties) without navigating through the model or chart.

Opening the Model Explorer

To open the Model Explorer, use one of these approaches:

  • From the Simulink Editor View menu, select Model Explorer or select the Model Explorer icon from the toolbar.

  • In an open model in the Simulink Editor, right-click a block and from the context menu, select Explore.

  • In an open Stateflow chart, right-click in the drawing area and from the context menu, select Explore.

  • At the MATLAB® command line, enter daexplr.

Model Explorer Components

By default, the Model Explorer opens with three panes (Model Hierarchy, Contents, and Dialog), a main toolbar, and a search bar.

Main toolbarExecute Model Explorer commandsThe Main Toolbar
Search barPerform a search within the context of the selected node in Model Hierarchy pane.Search Using Model Explorer
Model Hierarchy paneNavigate and explore model, chart, and workspace nodesModel Explorer: Model Hierarchy Pane
Contents paneDisplay and modify model or chart objectsModel Explorer: Contents Pane
Dialog paneView and change the details of object propertiesModel Explorer: Property Dialog Pane

The Main Toolbar

The main toolbar at the top of the Model Explorer provides buttons you click to perform Model Explorer operations. Most of the toolbar buttons perform actions that you can also perform using Model Explorer menu items.

The toolbar buttons in the following table perform actions that you cannot perform using Model Explorer menus:


Bring the MATLAB window to the front.

Display the Simulink Library Browser.

If you have Simulink Verification and Validation™ installed, you can use additional toolbar buttons relating to requirements links.

Adding Objects

You can use the Model Explorer to add many kinds of objects to a model, chart, or workspace. The types of objects that you can add depend on what node you select in the Model Hierarchy pane. Use toolbar buttons or the Add menu to add objects. The Add menu lists the kinds of objects you can add.

Customizing the Model Explorer Interface

You can customize the Model Explorer interface in several ways. This section describes how to show or hide the main toolbar and how to control the font size.

Other ways you can customize the Model Explorer interface include:

Showing and Hiding the Main Toolbar

To show or hide the main toolbar, in the Model Explorer select View > Toolbars > Main Toolbar.

Controlling the Font Size

You can change the font size in the Model Explorer panes:

  • To increase the font size, press the Ctrl + Plus Sign (+).

    Alternatively, from the Model Explorer View menu, select Increase Font Size.

  • To decrease the font size, press the Ctrl + Minus Sign (-).

    Alternatively, from the Model Explorer View menu, select Decrease Font Size.

    Note   The changes remain in effect for the Model Explorer and in the Simulink dialog boxes across Simulink sessions.

Basic Steps for Using the Model Explorer

Use the Model Explorer to perform a wide range of activities relating to viewing and changing model and chart elements. You can perform activities in any order, using panes in the order you choose. Your actions in one pane often affect other panes.

For example, if you want to edit properties of objects in a model, you might use a general workflow such as:

  1. Open a model.

  2. Open the Model Explorer.

  3. Select the model in the Model Hierarchy pane, specifying whether the Model Explorer displays only the current system or the whole system hierarchy of the current system

  4. Control what model information the Contents pane displays, and how it displays that information, by using a combination of:

    • The View > Column View option to control which property columns to display

    • The View > Row Filter option to control which types of objects to display

    • Techniques to directly manipulate column headings

  5. Identify model elements with specific values, using the search bar.

  6. Edit the values for model elements, in either the Contents pane or the Dialog pane. To edit workspace variables, you can use the Variable Editor.

Focusing on Specific Elements of a Model or Chart

As you explore a model or chart, you might want to narrow the contents that you see in the Model Explorer to particular elements of a model or chart. You can use several different techniques. The following table summarizes techniques for controlling what content the Model Explorer displays and how the contents appear.

TechniqueWhen to UseDocumentation

Show partial or whole model hierarchy contents

To control how much of a hierarchical model to display

Displaying Partial or Whole Model Hierarchy Contents

Use the Row Filter option

To focus on, or hide, a specific kind of a model object, such as signals

Using the Row Filter Option


To find objects that might not be currently displayed

Search Using Model Explorer

Filter contents

To focus on specific objects in the Contents pane, based on a search string

Filtering Contents

Once you have the general set of data that you are interested in, you can use the following techniques to organize the display of contents.

TechniqueWhen to UseDocumentation


To quickly organize data for a property in ascending or descending order

Sorting Column Contents

Group by property column

To logically group data based on values for a property

How to Group by a Property Column

Use column views

To display a named subset of property columns to apply to different kinds of nodes in the Model Hierarchy pane

Control Model Explorer Contents Using Views

Add, delete, or rearrange property table columns

To customize property columns

Organize Data Display in Model Explorer

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