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Manage Shadowed and Dirty Models and Other Project Files

Identify Shadowed Project Files When Opening a Project

If there are two model files with the same name on the MATLAB® path, then the one higher on the path is loaded, and the one lower on the path is shadowed. This shadowing applies to all models and libraries (SLX and MDL files).

A loaded model always takes precedence over unloaded ones, regardless of its position on the MATLAB path. Loaded models can interfere when you try to use other files of the same name, especially when models are loaded but not visible. Simulink® warns when you try to load a shadowed model, because the other model is already loaded and can cause conflicts. The project checks for shadowed files when you open a project.

  1. When you open a project, it warns you if any models of the same names as your project models are already loaded. This check enables you to find and avoid shadowed files before opening any project models.

    The Configuring Project Environment dialog box reports the Identify shadowed project files check fails. Click Details.

  2. In the dialog box, use the context menu to open or close individual files, or click Close All to close all potentially shadowing files. To avoid working on the wrong files, close the loaded models. The dialog box closes and you return to the Configuring Project Environment dialog box.

  3. Inspect the other project loading tasks, then click Continue to view the project.


To help avoid problems with shadowed files, turn on the Simulink preference Do not load models that are shadowed on the MATLAB path. See Do not load models that are shadowed on the MATLAB path.

When you open a project with many referenced projects, identifying shadowed files can be time-consuming. You can turn off this check using the MATLAB project preference Detect project files shadowed by open models.

To learn more about shadowed files, see Shadowed Files.

Find Models and Other Project Files With Unsaved Changes

You can check your project for models, data dictionaries and MATLAB files with unsaved changes. On the Project tab, click on the down arrow to expand the Tools gallery. Under Project Checks, click Show Unsaved Changes.

In the Unsaved Changes dialog box, you can see all dirty project models, data dictionaries, and MATLAB files. Project only detects unsaved changes edited in the MATLAB and Simulink editors. Manually examine changes edited in other tools. If you have referenced projects, files are grouped by project. You can save or discard all detected changes.

Manage Open Models and Data Dictionaries When Closing a Project

When you close a project, it closes any project models or data dictionaries, unless they are dirty.

When you close a project, if there are model files or data dictionaries with unsaved changes, a message prompts you to save or discard changes. You can see all dirty files, grouped by project if you have referenced projects. To avoid losing work, you can save or discard changes by file, by project, or globally.

Control this behavior using the project shutdown preferences.

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