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Tab Properties

Control appearance and behavior of tab

The properties listed here are valid for tabs in GUIDE or in apps created with the figure function. If you are using App Designer or the uifigure function, see Tab Properties instead. For more information, see Migrating GUIDE Apps to App Designer.

Tabs are containers for grouping for grouping UI components together with a tabbed label. Use the uitab function to create a tab inside a tab group. Properties control the appearance and behavior of a tab. Use dot notation to refer to a particular object and property:

f = figure;
tg = uitabgroup(f);
t = uitab;
t.Title = 'Data';

Title and Color

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Title, specified as a character vector, string scalar, or categorical array. If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB® displays only the first element in the array.

MATLAB does not interpret a vertical slash ('|') character as a line break, it displays as a vertical slash in the title.

If you want to specify a Unicode® character, pass the Unicode decimal code to the char function. For example, ['Multiples of ' char(960)] displays as Multiples of π.

Title color, specified as an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, or one of the color options listed in the table.

RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes are useful for specifying custom colors.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Example: [0 0 1]

Example: 'b'

Example: 'blue'

Background color, specified as an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, or one of the color options listed in the table.

RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes are useful for specifying custom colors.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Interactivity

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Tooltip, specified as a character vector, string scalar, or categorical array. Use this property to display a message when the user hovers the pointer over the component at run time. The tooltip does not display when the component is disabled. If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB uses the values in the array, not the full set of categories.

To create multiple lines of text, use the sprintf function to insert newline characters ('\n') in your text. For example:

txt = sprintf('Line 1\nLine 2');

Then set the Tooltip property to the value returned by sprintf.

Context menu, specified as a ContextMenu object. Use this property to display a context menu when the user right-clicks on a UI component. Create the context menu using the uicontextmenu function.

Tooltip, specified as a character vector, string scalar, or categorical array. The tooltip displays when the user hovers the mouse pointer over the component in the app. If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB uses the values in the array, not the full set of categories.

Note

The TooltipString property is not recommended starting in R2018b. Use the Tooltip property instead.

Location and Size

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This property is read-only.

Location and size, returned as a vector of the form [left bottom width height]. This table describes each element in the vector.

ValueDescription
leftDistance from the inner left edge of the parent tab group to the inner left edge of the tab.
bottomDistance from the inner bottom edge of the parent tab group to the inner bottom edge of the tab.
widthDistance between the right and left inner edges of the tab.
heightDistance between the top and bottom inner edges of the tab.

All measurements exclude the tab label and are in units specified by the Units property.

Note

These are some important points to consider when using the Position property:

  • Position values are affected by the length of the tab title and the parent tab group’s TabLocation property.

  • Position values are relative to the parent tab group’s drawable area. The drawable area of a tab group is the area inside its borders.

This property is read-only.

Location and size, returned as a four-element vector of the form [left bottom width height]. All measurements are in units specified by the Units property.

This property value is identical to the Position and OuterPosition property values.

This property is read-only.

Location and size, returned as a four-element vector of the form [left bottom width height]. All measurements are in units specified by the Units property.

This property value is identical to the Position and InnerPosition property values.

Units of measurement, specified one of the values from this table.

Units ValueDescription
'normalized'These units are normalized with respect to the parent container. The lower-left corner of the container maps to (0,0) and the upper-right corner maps to (1,1).
'pixels'

Pixels.

Starting in R2015b, distances in pixels are independent of your system resolution on Windows® and Macintosh systems:

  • On Windows systems, a pixel is 1/96th of an inch.

  • On Macintosh systems, a pixel is 1/72nd of an inch.

On Linux® systems, the size of a pixel is determined by your system resolution.

'inches'Inches.
'centimeters'Centimeters.
'points'Points. One point equals 1/72nd of an inch.
'characters'

These units are based on the default uicontrol font of the graphics root object:

  • Character width = width of the letter x.

  • Character height = distance between the baselines of two lines of text.

To access the default uicontrol font, use get(groot,'defaultuicontrolFontName') or set(groot,'defaultuicontrolFontName').

MATLAB uses these units to display the location and size values in the Position property.

MATLAB measures all units from the lower left corner of the parent object.

If you change the value of the Units property, it is good practice to return it to its default value after completing your computation to avoid affecting other functions that assume the Units property is set to the default value.

Callbacks

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Size change callback function, specified as one of these values:

  • A function handle.

  • A cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • A character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

Define this callback to customize the app layout when the size of this container changes (e.g., when the user resizes the window).

The SizeChangedFcn callback executes when the parent tab group container:

  • Becomes visible for the first time.

  • Is visible while its size changes.

  • Becomes visible for the first time after its size changes. This situation occurs when the size changes while the container is invisible, and then it becomes visible later.

Other important points to consider when defining a SizeChangedFcn callback:

  • Consider delaying the display of this container until after all the variables that the SizeChangedFcn uses are defined. This practice can prevent the SizeChangedFcn callback from returning an error. To achieve this delay, you delay the display of the parent tab group container, by setting its Visible property to 'off'. Then, set the Visible property to 'on' after you define the variables that your SizeChangedFcn callback uses.

  • If your app contains nested containers, they resize from the inside out.

  • To access the container that is resizing from within the SizeChangedFcn, refer to the source object (the first input argument in the callback) or use the gcbo function.

Tip

As an easy alternative to specifying a SizeChangedFcn callback, you can set the Units property of all the objects you put inside a container to 'normalized'. Doing so makes those components scale proportionally with the container.

See Lay Out a UI Programmatically for more information about managing layouts with SizeChangedFcn callbacks.

Button-press callback function, specified as one of these values:

  • A function handle.

  • A cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • A character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback property value as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see How to Specify Callback Property Values.

The ButtonDownFcn callback is a function that executes when the user clicks a mouse button within the container.

Component creation function, specified as one of these values:

  • A function handle.

  • A cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • A character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback property value as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see How to Specify Callback Property Values.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB creates the component. MATLAB initializes all component property values before executing the CreateFcn callback. If you do not specify the CreateFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default creation function.

Use the gcbo function in your CreateFcn code to get the component object that is being created.

Setting the CreateFcn property on an existing component object has no effect.

Component deletion function, specified as one of these values:

  • A function handle.

  • A cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • A character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback property value as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see How to Specify Callback Property Values.

The DeleteFcn property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB deletes the component (for example, when the user closes the window). MATLAB executes the DeleteFcn callback before destroying the properties of the component object. If you do not specify the DeleteFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default deletion function.

Use the gcbo function in your DeleteFcn code to get the component object that is being deleted.

Callback Execution Control

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Callback interruption, specified as 'on' or 'off'. The Interruptible property determines if a running callback can be interrupted.

There are two callback states to consider:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

Whenever MATLAB invokes a callback, that callback attempts to interrupt the running callback (if one exists). The Interruptible property of the object owning the running callback determines if interruption is allowed:

  • A value of 'on' allows other callbacks to interrupt the object's callbacks. The interruption occurs at the next point where MATLAB processes the queue, such as when there is a drawnow, figure, getframe, waitfor, or pause.

    • If the running callback contains one of these commands, then MATLAB stops the execution of the callback at this point and executes the interrupting callback. MATLAB resumes executing the running callback when the interrupting callback completes.

    • If the running callback does not contain one of these commands, then MATLAB finishes executing the callback without interruption.

  • A value of 'off' blocks all interruption attempts. The BusyAction property of the object owning the interrupting callback determines if the interrupting callback is discarded or put into a queue.

Note

Callback interruption and execution behave differently in these situations:

  • If the interrupting callback is a DeleteFcn, CloseRequestFcn, or SizeChangedFcn callback, then the interruption occurs regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • If the running callback is currently executing the waitfor function, then the interruption occurs regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • Timer objects execute according to schedule regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • MATLAB does not save the state of properties or the display when an interruption occurs. For example, the object returned by the gca or gcf command might change when another callback executes.

See Interrupt Callback Execution for an example that shows how the Interruptible and BusyAction properties affect the behavior of a program.

Callback queuing specified as 'queue' (default) or 'cancel'. The BusyAction property determines how MATLAB handles the execution of interrupting callbacks. There are two callback states to consider:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

The BusyAction property of the source of the interrupting callback determines how MATLAB handles its execution. The BusyAction property has these values:

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

  • 'cancel' — Do not execute the interrupting callback.

Whenever MATLAB invokes a callback, that callback always attempts to interrupt an executing callback. The Interruptible property of the object whose callback is running determines if interruption is allowed. If Interruptible is set to:

  • on — Interruption occurs at the next point where MATLAB processes the queue. This is the default.

  • off — The BusyAction property (of the object owning the interrupting callback) determines if MATLAB enqueues or ignores the interrupting callback.

See Interrupt Callback Execution for an example that shows how the BusyAction and Interruptible properties affect the behavior of a program.

This property is read-only.

Deletion status, returned as 'off' or 'on'. MATLAB sets the BeingDeleted property to 'on' when the DeleteFcn callback begins execution. The BeingDeleted property remains set to 'on' until the component object no longer exists.

Check the value of the BeingDeleted property to verify that the object is not about to be deleted before querying or modifying it.

Parent/Child

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Parent object, specified as a TabGroup object. You can move a tab to a different tab group by setting this property to the target TabGroup object.

Tab children, returned as an empty GraphicsPlaceholder or a 1-D array of UI component objects. The children of tabs can be Axes, Panel, ButtonGroup, and UIControl objects.

You cannot add or remove children using the Children property. Use this property to view the list of children or to reorder the children. The order of the children reflects the front-to-back order (stacking order) of the components on the screen. MATLAB might not allow you to change the order of certain objects. For example, UIControl and Legend objects are always in front of Axes objects.

To add a child to this list, set the Parent property of the child component to be the Tab object.

Objects with the HandleVisibility property set to 'off' do not list in the Children property.

Visibility of object handle, specified as 'on', 'callback', or 'off'.

This property controls the visibility of the object handle 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. These functions include get, findobj, gca, gcf, gco, newplot, cla, clf, and close. The HandleVisibility property also controls the visibility of the object’s handle in the parent figure's CurrentObject property. Handles are still valid even if they are not visible. If you can access an object, you can set and get its properties, and pass it to any function that operates on objects.

HandleVisibility ValueDescription
'on'The object handle is always visible.
'callback'The object handle is visible from within callbacks or functions invoked by callbacks, but not from within functions invoked from the command line. This option blocks access to the object at the command-line, but allows callback functions to access it.
'off'The object handle is invisible at all times. This option is useful for preventing unintended changes to the UI by another function. Set the HandleVisibility to 'off' to temporarily hide the handle during the execution of that function.

Set the graphics root ShowHiddenHandles property to 'on' to make all handles visible, regardless of their HandleVisibility value. This setting has no effect on their HandleVisibility values.

Identifiers

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This property is read-only.

Type of graphics object, returned as 'uitab'.

Object identifier, specified as a character vector or string scalar. You can specify a unique Tag value to serve as an identifier for an object. When you need access to the object elsewhere in your code, you can use the findobj function to search for the object based on the Tag value.

User data, specified as any array. Specifying UserData can be useful for sharing data within apps. See Share Data Among Callbacks for more information.

Introduced in R2014b