GUIDE to App Designer Migration Tool for MATLAB

Use the GUIDE to App Designer Migration tool to help transition your GUIDE apps to App Designer.
Updated 19 Jun 2024

Editor's Note: This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

Please note, R2020a or later is the recommended release for migrating GUIDE apps
About the GUIDE Migration Tool
The GUIDE to App Designer Migration Tool is a semi-automated tool that converts your GUIDE app into an App Designer app. It produces an MLAPP-file containing:
  • Your app's components and layout
  • Initial property configurations for all components
  • A copy of your GUIDE functions and callback code
The tool also generates a report with any limitations or unsupported functionality encountered during the migration. Suggested actions to resolve issues are offered if available.
Migrate Multiple Apps with a Single Command as of R2023a
Starting with R2023a, you can run the migration tool from the MATLAB command line by downloading the tool and then calling the appmigration.migrateGUIDEApp function. You can use this function to:
  • Migrate multiple apps with a single command
  • View your migration progress and a migration summary in the MATLAB Command Window
Significant Time Savings as of R2020a
  • Starting with R2020a, the migration tool significantly reduces the time and effort required to migrate your GUIDE app. It minimizes the amount of manual code updates required, and makes your GUIDE-style callback code compatible with the App Designer UI components in your migrated app.
  • The migration tool can be used in R2018a through R2019b. It will migrate the GUIDE app's layout and component configurations, but functions and callback code will require manual updates.
Resources Available
GUIDE's Future Removal
In R2019b, MathWorks announced that the GUIDE design environment for building apps in MATLAB will be removed in a future release. Although GUIDE has offered customers significant value over the years, it is built on 3rd party technologies that are dated and limit MathWorks from evolving and enhancing GUIDE to support the needs of our customers.
Note, GUIDE apps will continue to run after GUIDE's removal, but they will not be editable using the GUIDE environment.
About App Designer
App Designer, introduced in R2016a, is the replacement for GUIDE and is the recommended environment for building apps in MATLAB. App Designer is built on forward-looking technologies, offering:
  • A more modern look-and-feel design environment with richer drag-and-drop conveniences
  • New features like a tree component, date picker, layout manager, and an automatic reflow option to make your app responsive to different screen sizes without having to write complex resizing logic
  • Its programming model is more robust for managing data within an app by using a MATLAB class-file
  • Apps built with App Designer can be run in MATLAB Online and deployed to the web for easier sharing and access via a web browser on desktops, tablets, or mobile devices.
MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2018a
Compatible with R2018a to R2024b
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS (Apple silicon) macOS (Intel) Linux

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