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Tab Properties

Control tab appearance and behavior

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. By changing property values of a Tab object, you can modify certain aspects of its appearance and behavior. Use dot notation to refer to a particular object and property:

fig = uifigure;
tg = uitabgroup(fig);
t = uitab(tg);
t.Title = 'Data';

Some properties and property values of Tab objects differ depending on whether the tab is a child of a figure created using the uifigure function or the figure function. The uifigure function is the recommended function to use when building new apps, and is the function used in App Designer apps. For more information, see Ways to Build Apps.

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'

Sample of the color red

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

Sample of the color green

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

Sample of the color blue

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

Sample of the color cyan

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

Sample of the color magenta

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

Sample of the color yellow

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

Sample of the color black

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

Sample of the color white

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'

Sample of RGB triplet [0 0.4470 0.7410], which appears as dark blue

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.8500 0.3250 0.0980], which appears as dark orange

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.9290 0.6940 0.1250], which appears as dark yellow

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.4940 0.1840 0.5560], which appears as dark purple

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.4660 0.6740 0.1880], which appears as medium green

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.3010 0.7450 0.9330], which appears as light blue

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.6350 0.0780 0.1840], which appears as dark red

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'

Sample of the color red

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

Sample of the color green

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

Sample of the color blue

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

Sample of the color cyan

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

Sample of the color magenta

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

Sample of the color yellow

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

Sample of the color black

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

Sample of the color white

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'

Sample of RGB triplet [0 0.4470 0.7410], which appears as dark blue

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.8500 0.3250 0.0980], which appears as dark orange

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.9290 0.6940 0.1250], which appears as dark yellow

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.4940 0.1840 0.5560], which appears as dark purple

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.4660 0.6740 0.1880], which appears as medium green

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.3010 0.7450 0.9330], which appears as light blue

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.6350 0.0780 0.1840], which appears as dark red

Interactivity

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Tooltip, specified as a character vector, cell array of character vectors, string array, or 1-D categorical array. Use this property to display a message when the user hovers the pointer over the component at run time. To display multiple lines of text, specify a cell array of character vectors or a string array. Each element in the array becomes a separate line of text. If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB uses the values in the array, not the full set of categories.

Context menu, specified as a ContextMenu object created using the uicontextmenu function. Use this property to display a context menu when you right-click on a component.

Position

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This property is read-only.

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

ElementDescription
leftDistance from the inner left edge of the tab group to the inner left edge of the tab
bottomDistance from the inner bottom edge of the 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 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 TabLocation property of the parent TabGroup object.

  • Position values are relative to the drawable area of the parent TabGroup, which is the area inside its borders.

This property is read-only.

Location and size of the tab, 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 of the tab, 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 as one of the values in this table.

Units ValueDescription
'pixels' (default)

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.

'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).

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

The recommended value is 'pixels', because most MATLAB app building functionality measures distances in pixels.

figure-Based Apps

For tabs in apps created using the figure function, the default value of Units is 'normalized'.

In addition, you can specify Units as 'characters'. Character 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').

Callbacks

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Size change callback, 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).

Note

In uifigure-based apps, the SizeChangedFcn callback will not execute unless the AutoResizeChildren property of this container is set to 'off'. In App Designer, you can make the SizeChangedFcn executable by clearing the AutoResizeChildren check box in the UI Figure Properties panel.

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).

In uifigure-based apps, alternate ways to specify resize behavior are to create a GridLayout object or use the auto-reflow options in App Designer. These options can be easier to use than SizeChangedFcn callbacks. However, there are some advantages that SizeChangedFcn callbacks have over these options. For example:

  • Resizing a component up to a minimum or maximum size that you define.

  • Implementing non-linear resize behaviors.

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 Specify a Callback Function.

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

Object creation function, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle.

  • 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.

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

For more information about specifying a callback as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see Write Callbacks in App Designer.

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

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

If you specify this property as a function handle or cell array, you can access the object that is being created using the first argument of the callback function. Otherwise, use the gcbo function to access the object.

Object deletion function, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle.

  • 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.

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

For more information about specifying a callback as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see Write Callbacks in App Designer.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB deletes the object. MATLAB executes the DeleteFcn callback before destroying the properties of the object. If you do not specify the DeleteFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default deletion function.

If you specify this property as a function handle or cell array, you can access the object that is being deleted using the first argument of the callback function. Otherwise, use the gcbo function to access the object.

Callback Execution Control

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Callback interruption, specified as 'on' or 'off', or as numeric or logical 1 (true) or 0 (false). A value of 'on' is equivalent to true, and 'off' is equivalent to false. Thus, you can use the value of this property as a logical value. The value is stored as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

This 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.

MATLAB determines callback interruption behavior whenever it executes a command that processes the callback queue. These commands include drawnow, figure, uifigure, getframe, waitfor, and pause.

If the running callback does not contain one of these commands, then no interruption occurs. MATLAB first finishes executing the running callback, and later executes the interrupting callback.

If the running callback does contain one of these commands, then the Interruptible property of the object that owns the running callback determines if the interruption occurs:

  • If the value of Interruptible is 'off', then no interruption occurs. Instead, the BusyAction property of the object that owns the interrupting callback determines if the interrupting callback is discarded or added to the callback queue.

  • If the value of Interruptible is 'on', then the interruption occurs. The next time MATLAB processes the callback queue, it stops the execution of the running callback and executes the interrupting callback. After the interrupting callback completes, MATLAB then resumes executing the running callback.

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.

  • If the interrupting callback is owned by a Timer object, then the callback executes according to schedule regardless of the Interruptible property value.

Note

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

Callback queuing, specified as 'queue' 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 determines callback queuing behavior only when both of these conditions are met:

  • The running callback contains a command that processes the callback queue, such as drawnow, figure, uifigure, getframe, waitfor, or pause.

  • The value of the Interruptible property of the object that owns the running callback is 'off'.

Under these conditions, the BusyAction property of the object that owns the interrupting callback determines how MATLAB handles the interrupting callback. These are possible values of the BusyAction property:

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

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

This property is read-only.

Deletion status, returned as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

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. The TabGroup must be the child of a Figure created using the uifigure function.

Children of tab, returned as an empty GraphicsPlaceholder or a 1-D array of app component objects.

You cannot add or remove children using the Children property of the tab. Use this property to view the list of children or to reorder the children. The order of the children in this array reflects the order of the tabs displayed on the screen.

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

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

This property controls the visibility of the object in its parent's list of children. When an object is not visible in its parent's list of children, it is not returned by functions that obtain objects by searching the object hierarchy or querying properties. These functions include get, findobj, clf, and close. Objects are 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 is always visible.
'callback'The object 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 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 object during the execution of that function.

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 MATLAB array. For example, you can specify a scalar, vector, matrix, cell array, character array, table, or structure. Use this property to store arbitrary data on an object.

If you are working in App Designer, create public or private properties in the app to share data instead of using the UserData property. For more information, see Share Data Within App Designer Apps.

uifigure-Based Apps Only

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Note

This property is valid only for tabs in App Designer and in apps created using the uifigure function.

Automatically resize children, specified as 'on' or 'off', or as numeric or logical 1 (true) or 0 (false). A value of 'on' is equivalent to true, and 'off' is equivalent to false. Thus, you can use the value of this property as a logical value. The value is stored as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

  • 'on' — Child components automatically resize when the container resizes.

  • 'off' — Child components do not resize.

The AutoResizeChildren property affects direct children of the container, not children inside nested containers.

To customize the resize behavior, set the AutoResizeChildren property to 'off' and create a SizeChangedFcn callback for the container. For more information, see Manage App Resize Behavior Programmatically.

To disable resizing of an app, set the Resize property of the figure to 'off'.

Note

This property is valid only for tabs in App Designer and in apps created using the uifigure function.

Ability to scroll, specified as 'off' or 'on', or as numeric or logical 1 (true) or 0 (false). A value of 'on' is equivalent to true, and 'off' is equivalent to false. Thus, you can use the value of this property as a logical value. The value is stored as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

Setting this property to 'on' enables scrolling within the container. However, there are additional requirements:

  • The child components in the container must occupy a larger area than the container can display at one time.

  • Components that do not fit in the container must be above or to the right of the container. You cannot scroll to components that are below or to the left of the container.

Certain types of charts and axes do not support scrollable containers. However, you can place the chart or axes in a nonscrollable panel, and then place the panel in the scrollable container. For more information, see Display Graphics in App Designer.

Compatibility Considerations

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Not recommended starting in R2020a

Not recommended starting in R2018b

See Also

Functions

Properties

Introduced in R2014b