getjframe - Retrieves a figure's underlying Java frame

Enable multiple window callbacks and properties not exposed by Matlab
Updated 1 Mar 2019

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jframe = getjframe(hFigOrComponent)

GETJFRAME retrieves the current figure (gcf)'s underlying Java frame, thus enabling access to all 35 figure callbacks that are not exposed by Matlab's figure.

Notable callbacks include: FocusGainedCallback, FocusLostCallback, KeyPressedCallback, KeyReleasedCallback, MouseEnteredCallback, MouseExitedCallback, MousePressedCallback, MouseReleasedCallback, WindowActivatedCallback, WindowClosedCallback, WindowClosingCallback, WindowOpenedCallback, WindowStateChangedCallback and 22 others.

The returned jframe object also allows access to other useful window features: 'AlwaysOnTop', 'CloseOnEscapeEnabled', 'Resizable', 'Enabled', 'HWnd' (for those interested in Windows integration) etc. Type "get(jframe)" to see the full list of properties.

GETJFRAME(hFig) retrieves a specific figure's underlying Java frame. hFig is a Matlab handle, or a list of handles (not necessarily figure handle(s) - the handles' containing figure is used).

Usage examples:
get(getjframe,'ListOfCallbacks'); %display list of supported callbacks
set(getjframe,'WindowStateChangedCallback','disp(''Window min/maxed'')')
jframes = getjframe([gcf,hButton]); % get 2 java frames, from 2 figures

Bugs and suggestions:
Please send to Yair Altman (altmany at gmail dot com)

This code heavily relies on undocumented and unsupported Matlab functionality. It works on Matlab 7+, but use at your own risk!

Cite As

Yair Altman (2024). getjframe - Retrieves a figure's underlying Java frame (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2007a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux
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Version Published Release Notes

Extra check for additional robustness

Additional fixes for R2014b onward (HG2)

Fix for R2014b (HG2)

Fix for R2011b

Added Matlab figure handle property; improved responsiveness handling; added support for array of handles; added sanity checks for illegal handles