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Vertical Slider

Change parameter or variable value using vertical slider with customizable appearance

  • Library:
  • Simulink / Dashboard / Customizable Blocks

  • Vertical Slider block

Description

Use the Vertical Slider block to tune the value of a variable or block parameter during simulation. You can customize the appearance of the Vertical Slider block to look like a control in a real system. You can adjust the scale range and tick values to fit the desired range for the value you want to tune. Use the Vertical Slider block with other dashboard blocks to create an interactive dashboard to control your model.

Customize Vertical Slider Blocks

When you add a Vertical Slider block to your model, the block is preconfigured with a default design. You can use the block with the default design or customize the appearance of the block using design mode. You can enter design mode in one of three ways after selecting the block:

  • On the Slider tab, under Design, click Edit.

  • In the Property Inspector, on the Design tab, click Edit Design.

  • Pause on the ellipsis that appears above the block and click the Edit Custom Block button.

In design mode, you have access to block parameters and settings that allow you to design the appearance of the block. You can use the toolbar above the block to change the background image or needle image and to set the opacity and color for the scale, tick labels, and value bar. To design the appearance of the scale, select the aspect of the scale you want to edit in the middle section of the toolbar. Use the controls on the right of the toolbar to set the color and opacity. You can also click and drag to reposition the needle or the scale.

For fine control of the block design, use the Design tab in the Property Inspector. You can use the Property Inspector to enter exact values for design settings. The Design tab also includes design parameters that are not available through the toolbar or interactive editing, such as the ability to add a foreground image to the block.

Vertical Slider block in design mode with the toolbar and the Design tab in the Property Inspector visible.

When you finish editing the design, click Exit in the upper-right of the canvas to exit design mode.

Connect Dashboard Blocks

Dashboard blocks do not use ports to connect to model elements. To connect dashboard blocks to variables and block parameters, use connect mode. Connect mode facilitates the process of connecting dashboard blocks in your model, especially when you want to connect multiple blocks at once. To connect a single dashboard block, you can also use the Connection table in the block dialog box.

Tip

You can modify dashboard block connections in your model during normal and accelerator mode simulations.

Note

Dashboard blocks cannot connect to variables until you update the model diagram. To connect dashboard blocks to variables or modify variable values between opening your model and running a simulation, update the model diagram using Ctrl+D.

To enter connect mode, in the canvas, select the dashboard block to connect. On the Simulink® Toolstrip, a tab named after the type of the selected block appears. On the block tab, click Connect. In connect mode, when you select one or more blocks, a list of parameters and variables available for connection appears. Select a variable or parameter from the list to connect to the selected dashboard block.

When the value of the selected variable or block parameter is nonscalar, use the text box at the bottom of the Connection table to specify the element you want to connect to the dashboard block. To connect to an element of a vector, matrix, or array, specify the element index, for example, 3 or (1,3). To connect to an element in a bus or structure, specify the element in the context of the bus or structure hierarchy by using dots to indicate different levels in the hierarchy, and omit the top level. For example, specify a.b to connect to scalar element b of the structure or bus a nested inside the selected composite variable or parameter.

To connect another dashboard block, pause on another dashboard block and click the Connect button above it. Then, make a selection of signals and blocks in your model and choose a model element to connect.

Simulink model of the Van der Pol equation with all components selected, a Slider block in connect mode, and the Connection table visible

When you finish connecting the dashboard blocks in your model, on the block tab, click Done Connecting.

Tip

You can hide the message shown on unconnected blocks using the set_param function with the ShowInitialText block parameter. The message also disappears when you connect the block.

Parameter Logging

Tunable parameters connected to dashboard blocks are logged to the Simulation Data Inspector, where you can view the parameter values along with logged signal data. You can access logged parameter data in the MATLAB® workspace by exporting the parameter data from the Simulation Data Inspector by using the UI or the Simulink.sdi.exportRun function. For more information about exporting data using the Simulation Data Inspector UI, see Export Data to the Workspace or a File. The parameter data is stored in a Simulink.SimulationData.Parameter object, accessible as an element in the exported Simulink.SimulationData.Dataset.

Limitations

  • Except for the Dashboard Scope block and the Display block, dashboard blocks can only connect to real scalar signals.

  • The toolstrip does not support blocks that are inside a panel.

  • You cannot use the Connection table in the block dialog to connect a dashboard block to a block that is commented out. When you connect a dashboard block to a commented block using connect mode, the dashboard block does not display the connected value until the you uncomment the block.

  • Dashboard blocks cannot connect to model elements inside referenced models.

  • When you simulate a model hierarchy, dashboard blocks inside referenced models do not update.

  • Dashboard blocks do not support rapid accelerator simulation.

  • When you connect a dashboard block to a variable or parameter during simulation, the data for that variable or parameter is not logged to the Simulation Data Inspector. To log variable and parameter data to the Simulation Data Inspector, connect the dashboard block to the variable or parameter prior to simulation.

  • When you simulate a model in external mode with the Default parameter behavior set to Inlined, dashboard blocks can appear to change parameter and variable values. However, the change does not propagate to the simulation. For example, Gain blocks display changes made to the Gain parameter using the dashboard blocks, but the Gain value used in the simulation does not change.

Parameters

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Use the Property Inspector and the Block Parameters dialog box to specify the values of the block parameters. To set the core parameters of the dashboard block, use the Block Parameters dialog box or the Parameters tab in the Property Inspector. To customize the block, use the Design tab in the Property Inspector. To display the Block Parameters dialog box for a block, double-click the block. To display the Property Inspector, on the Modeling tab, under Design, select Property Inspector.

Parameters

To set the core parameters of the dashboard block, open the Property Inspector and click the Parameters tab.

Connection

Use the Connection table in the Block Parameters dialog box to select or change the variable or block parameter to control. To connect the block to a variable or block parameter:

  1. If the block is not connected, in the Property Inspector, on the Parameters tab, click Connect to open the Block Parameters dialog box. If the block is already connected and you want to change the signal to which it connects, click Change.

  2. Select a block in the model.

  3. Select the variable or parameter you want to connect.

    When the value of the selected variable or block parameter is nonscalar, use the text box at the bottom of the Connection table to specify the element you want to connect to the dashboard block. To connect to an element of a vector, matrix, or array, specify the element index, for example, 3 or (1,3). To connect to an element in a bus or structure, specify the element in the context of the bus or structure hierarchy by using dots to indicate different levels in the hierarchy. Omit the top level. For example, specify a.b to connect to scalar element b of the structure or bus a nested inside the selected composite variable or parameter.

  4. Click Apply.

To help understand and debug your model, you can connect Dashboard blocks to variables and parameters in your model during simulation.

Note

To see workspace variables in the connection table, update the model diagram using Ctrl+D.

Tip

You can also use bind mode to select or change the variable or block parameter to control. To enter bind mode:

  • If you are in design mode, exit by clicking the Edit button on the Design tab of the Property Inspector.

  • Click the dashboard block in the canvas. If the dashboard block is not connected, Connect Connect button and an ellipsis appear over the dashboard block. If the dashboard block is already connected, only the ellipsis appears.

  • If the dashboard block is not connected, click Connect. If the dashboard block is connected, pause on the ellipsis. In the action menu that expands, click Connect. In either case, a list of parameters and variables available for connection appears.

The left image shows a selected dashboard block with the Connect button and the ellipsis hovering above it. The right image shows the same dashboard block with the action menu expanded above it, and the pointer hovering over the Connect button.

To connect the dashboard block in bind mode:

  • From the list, select the variable or parameter you want to connect.

  • To exit bind mode, click Done Connecting Done Connecting buttonover the dashboard block.

Programmatic Use

To programmatically connect a dashboard block to a tunable parameter or a variable, use a Simulink.HMI.ParamSourceInfo object. The Simulink.HMI.ParamSourceInfo object contains four properties. Some properties apply to connecting dashboard blocks to parameters. Some properties apply to connecting dashboard blocks to variables. Not all fields have a value for a connection because a given dashboard block connects to either a parameter or a variable.

Block Parameter: Binding
Type: Simulink.HMI.ParamSourceInfo
Default: []
Main

Finite, real, double, scalar value specifying the minimum tick mark value for the scale. The parameter value must be less than the value of the Maximum parameter.

Programmatic Use

To programmatically set the Minimum parameter, use a 1-by-3 vector containing values for the Minimum, Tick Interval, and Maximum parameters, in that order. To use the auto value for the Tick Interval, leave the Tick Interval position in the vector empty, or specify -1.

Block Parameter: Limits
Type: 1x3 vector
Default: [0 -1 100]

Finite, real, double, scalar value specifying the maximum tick mark value for the scale. The parameter value must be greater than the value of the Minimum parameter.

Programmatic Use

To programmatically set the Maximum parameter, use a 1-by-3 vector containing values for the Minimum, Tick Interval, and Maximum parameters, in that order. To use the auto value for the Tick Interval, leave the Tick Interval position in the vector empty, or specify -1.

Block Parameter: Limits
Type: 1x3 vector
Default: [0 -1 100]

Finite, real, positive, whole, scalar value specifying the interval of major tick marks on the scale. When set to auto, the block automatically adjusts the tick interval based on the values of the Maximum and Minimum parameters.

Programmatic Use

To programmatically set the Tick Interval parameter, use a 1-by-3 vector containing values for the Minimum, Tick Interval, and Maximum parameters, in that order. To use the auto value for the Tick Interval, leave the Tick Interval position in the vector empty, or specify -1.

Block Parameter: Limits
Type: 1x3 vector
Default: [0 -1 100]

Set the direction of increasing scale values.

Programmatic Use

Block Parameter: ScaleDirection
Type: character vector
Values: 'Clockwise' | 'Counterclockwise'
Default: 'Clockwise'

You can display the name of the element to which the dashboard block connects in a label positioned at the top or at the bottom of the block, or you can hide the label. If you want the label to be visible, specify the position of the block. If you do not want the label to be visible, specify Hide.

Note

When the dashboard block is not connected to an element, the label is blank.

Programmatic Use

Block Parameter: LabelPosition
Type: character vector
Values: 'Top' | 'Bottom' | 'Hide'
Default: 'Top'

Enable this option to maintain the aspect ratio when resizing the block in the Simulink canvas.

Tip

  • When the aspect ratio is locked, adding a new background image changes the aspect ratio of the block to match that of the background image.

  • When the aspect ratio is not locked, adding a new background image does not change the proportions of the block but instead stretches or scales the background image to fit the size of the block.

Design

To customize the dashboard block, open the Property Inspector, click the Design tab, and click Edit.

Slider

Enable this option to maintain the aspect ratio when resizing the block in the Simulink canvas.

Tip

  • When the aspect ratio is locked, adding a new background image changes the aspect ratio of the block to match that of the background image.

  • When the aspect ratio is not locked, adding a new background image does not change the proportions of the block but instead stretches or scales the background image to fit the size of the block.

Scale

Finite, real, double, scalar value specifying the minimum tick mark value for the scale. The parameter value must be less than the value of the Maximum parameter.

Programmatic Use

To programmatically set the Minimum parameter, use a 1-by-3 vector containing values for the Minimum, Tick Interval, and Maximum parameters, in that order. To use the auto value for the Tick Interval, leave the Tick Interval position in the vector empty, or specify -1.

Block Parameter: Limits
Type: 1x3 vector
Default: [0 -1 100]

Finite, real, double, scalar value specifying the maximum tick mark value for the scale. The parameter value must be greater than the value of the Minimum parameter.

Programmatic Use

To programmatically set the Maximum parameter, use a 1-by-3 vector containing values for the Minimum, Tick Interval, and Maximum parameters, in that order. To use the auto value for the Tick Interval, leave the Tick Interval position in the vector empty, or specify -1.

Block Parameter: Limits
Type: 1x3 vector
Default: [0 -1 100]

Finite, real, positive, whole, scalar value specifying the interval of major tick marks on the scale. When set to auto, the block automatically adjusts the tick interval based on the values of the Maximum and Minimum parameters.

Programmatic Use

To programmatically set the Tick Interval parameter, use a 1-by-3 vector containing values for the Minimum, Tick Interval, and Maximum parameters, in that order. To use the auto value for the Tick Interval, leave the Tick Interval position in the vector empty, or specify -1.

Block Parameter: Limits
Type: 1x3 vector
Default: [0 -1 100]

Specify the value on the scale from which the handle moves and the value bar grows. When set to auto, the Origin is the minimum of the scale.

Example: 0

Set the direction of increasing scale values.

Programmatic Use

Block Parameter: ScaleDirection
Type: character vector
Values: 'Clockwise' | 'Counterclockwise'
Default: 'Clockwise'

Specify the horizontal offset of the left edge of the bounding box of the scale from the left edge of the block as a ratio of the block width. Relative to the position of the scale when the offset is 0, an offset with a negative value moves the scale left, and an offset with a positive value moves the scale right.

Example: 1

Specify the vertical offset of the top edge of the bounding box of the scale from the top edge of the block as a ratio of the block height. Relative to the position of the scale when the offset is 0, an offset with a negative value moves the scale up, and an offset with a positive value moves the scale down.

Example: 1

Specify the width of the bounding box of the scale as a ratio of the block width.

Example: 2

Specify the height of the bounding box of the scale as a ratio of the block height.

Example: 2

Enable on this option to maintain the aspect ratio when resizing the scale using the Property Inspector.

Set the color of the scale tick marks, the span line, and the block name. Choose a color from the palette of standard colors, or specify a custom color.

Tip

You can also set the Tick Color by choosing a Foreground Color on the Format tab of the Simulink Toolstrip.

To specify the color of the block text, use the Label Color parameter.

Programmatic Use

Specify the ForegroundColor parameter for the block as a string or a character vector that defines a 1-by-3 [r g b] vector with values between 0 and 1.

Block Parameter: ForegroundColor
Type: character vector | string
Values: [r g b] vector

Choose a font color for the scale label from the palette of standard colors, or specify a custom color.

Tip

To specify the color of the scale, use the Tick Color parameter.

Specify the horizontal distance from the scale labels to the free end of their corresponding tick marks on the scale as a ratio of the width of the bounding box of the scale.

Example: 0.5

Handle

Specify the width of the handle image as a ratio of the block width.

Example: 1

Specify the height of the handle image as a ratio of the block height.

Example: 1

Enable this option to maintain the aspect ratio when resizing the image using the Property Inspector.

Specify the horizontal offset of the left edge of the handle image from the span line of the scale as a ratio of the handle image width. Relative to the position of the handle image when the offset is 0, an offset with a negative value moves the image up, and an offset with a positive value moves the image down.

Example: 1

Specify the vertical offset of the handle image center from the scale origin as a ratio of the handle image height. Relative to the position of the handle image when the offset is 0, an offset with a negative value moves the image left, and an offset with a positive value moves the image right.

Example: 1

Value Bar

Specify the distance from the left edge of the value bar to the span line as a ratio of the width of the bounding box of the scale. Relative to the position of the value bar when the offset is 0, an offset with a negative value moves the value bar left, and an offset with a positive value moves the value bar right.

Example: 0.25

Specify the thickness of the value bar as a ratio of the width of the bounding box of the scale.

Example: 0.3

Background Image

For the block background, you can provide a background image or select a solid color. To select a solid background color, select this parameter. To provide a background image, clear this parameter.

Note

Changing the background color using the Format tab of the Simulink Toolstrip removes the background image and enables the Use Background Color parameter.

Example: on

To select a solid background color, enable the Use Background Color parameter. Then, choose a background color from the palette of standard colors, or specify a custom color.

Tip

You can also specify the Background Color in the Format tab of the Simulink Toolstrip.

To specify the color of the block text, use the Font Color parameter.

Programmatic Use

Specify the BackgroundColor parameter for the block as a 1-by-3 [r g b] vector with values between 0 and 1 that is formatted as a string or a character vector.

Block Parameter: BackgroundColor
Type: character vector | string
Values: [r g b] vector

Specify the block background opacity as a scalar value from 0 to 1.

Example: 0.5

Specify the corner radius of the area covered by the block background color as a ratio of half of the smaller of the two block dimensions, width or height.

Example: 0.25

Foreground Image

Specify the horizontal offset of the left edge of the image from the left edge of the block as a ratio of the block width. Relative to the position of the image when the offset is 0, an offset with a negative value moves the image left, and an offset with a positive value moves the image right.

Example: 1

Specify the vertical offset of the top edge of the image from the top edge of the block as a ratio of the block height. Relative to the position of the image when the offset is 0, an offset with a negative value moves the image up, and a positive value moves the image down.

Example: 1

Specify the image width as a ratio of the block width.

Example: 0.5

Specify the image height as a ratio of the block height.

Example: 0.5

Enable this option to maintain the aspect ratio when resizing the image using the Property Inspector.

Block Characteristics

Data Types

double | half | integer | single

Direct Feedthrough

no

Multidimensional Signals

no

Variable-Size Signals

no

Zero-Crossing Detection

no

Extended Capabilities

Version History

Introduced in R2021a

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