Model Editing Environment

The Simulink® model editing environment consists of two main tools: the Library Browser and the Simulink Editor. You find the blocks for your model in the Library Browser and build the model by adding and connecting the blocks in the Simulink Editor.

Library Browser

Use the Library Browser to locate blocks to add to your model. To locate blocks in the library, navigate the libraries using the tree structure in the left pane or by double-clicking the libraries in the right pane. Or, search for the block using the search controls. If you want to use regular expressions, whole word search, or do a case-sensitive search, use the Search for subsystems or blocks button arrow .

When you find the block you want to use, you can drag it into your model, or you can use a context menu to add it.

You can also create your own libraries and, optionally, have them appear in the library browser. See Create a Custom Library.

    Tip   The Recently Used Blocks structure at the bottom of the tree contains the blocks and libraries that you used most recently from the supplied libraries.

Simulink Editor

The Simulink Editor is an intuitive tool for building models. In addition to using standard methods for working with diagrams in a vector graphics editor, the editor provides shortcuts that help you to add and connect blocks. The Simulink Editor also gives you access to the tools you need for technical operations such as importing data, simulating your model, and analyzing model performance.

The figure shows the Simulink Editor with the example model vdp open.

The Simulink Editor has menus of commands and a toolbar of shortcuts for performing frequent operations or opening tools. Tooltips appear when you hover over the toolbar buttons. Commands also appear on context menus. Context menus appear when you right-click an object or a blank area of the editor. For example, right-click a block, and the menus display the commands relevant for working on blocks, such as clipboard and alignment operations. Some commands appear only on a context menu.


The palette along the left side of the editor provides more shortcuts. The palette shortcuts have to do with the model appearance and how you navigate the model rather than how you build and operate it. For example, the palette includes a shortcut for adding annotations and other visuals, like boxed-in areas for labeling the model. It also provides a zoom button for zooming in on a particular part of the model. The Hide/Show Explorer Bar button displays an interface that aids in navigating the model hierarchy.

Additional Model Views

The control in the lower-right corner opens additional views of the model. One such view is the interface view, which helps you to trace model interfaces. Click the control to see these views.

Interactive Model Building

When you build a model in the Simulink Editor, you use common techniques for working with graphics objects. Some of these actions include:

  • Object selection using click, shift-click, and drag selection

  • Resizing objects using handles and moving objects by dragging

  • Clipboard operations, that is, cut, copy, and paste

  • Undo/redo (up to 101 operations)

      Note:   After you undo or redo block parameter changes, a visual cue appears that shows the current values of the affected parameters. Some parameter changes are not affected by the Undo or Redo commands. After you undo or redo changes to block parameters, use the cue to see the parameters affected.

You zoom and scroll the editing area using familiar methods, such as the commands on the View > Zoom menu. If you are using a supported touch display platform, you can pinch to zoom and swipe to scroll. The supported touch display devices include Microsoft® Windows® platforms with a Windows 7 certified or Windows 8 certified touch display and Macintosh platforms with an Apple Magic Trackpad.

The editor supports additional shortcuts for scrolling that are unique to Simulink. Shortcuts and the other interactive model building techniques are summarized in Keyboard and Mouse Actions for Simulink Modeling. For a tutorial, see Build a Simple Model.

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