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How to indicate that GUI is busy running?

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I would like to know how to indicate in my GUI that MATLAB is currently busy running some piece of code (e.g. a long computation). Currently, there is no indication in the GUI that the code is running, causing the user to wonder whether it is working or just not responsive.

Accepted Answer

Titus Edelhofer
Titus Edelhofer on 12 Jul 2011
Hi Kyle,
two typical main ways to do this: in your callback do
set(handles.figure1, 'pointer', 'watch')
% your computation
set(handles.figure1, 'pointer', 'arrow')
This shows the hour glass during the callback. If the callback indeed takes longer, use function "waitbar" to indicate progress ...
Aash on 4 May 2018
I tried doing this and it is giving this error Error using matlab.ui.control.UIControl/set There is no pointer property on the UIControl class.
Error in Control>error_Callback (line 435) set(handles.error, 'pointer', 'watch')
What does it mean?
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 8 Jul 2020
You can only set the Pointer for a figure, not for a uicontrol.
fig = ancestor(handles.error, 'figure');
oldpointer = get(fig, 'pointer');
set(fig, 'pointer', 'watch');
% your computation goes here
set(fig, 'pointer', oldpointer)

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More Answers (3)

Kyle on 12 Jul 2011
btw how to use function "waitbar" to indicate progress.
does matlab know to compute the time its going to be busy?
  1 Comment
Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 12 Jul 2011
You have to manually update waitbar - look at the example in
doc waitbar

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Aash on 9 May 2018
My pointer is changing to the loading while computation but it isnt coming back to the orignal arrow after the code stops executing. Here is my code
oldpointer = get(handles.figure1, 'pointer');
set(handles.figure1, 'pointer', 'watch')
%code that runs
set(handles.figure1, 'pointer', oldpointer)
Ahmer Shahid
Ahmer Shahid on 13 Jan 2019
How can I use this in app designer?
it's giving me error.
Error using matlab.ui.Figure/set
Functionality not supported with figures created with the uifigure function. For more information, see Graphics Support in App Designer.
syed Rahim
syed Rahim on 12 Jun 2020
isn't handles a GUIDE only graphics structure. For APP designer it should be App.Figure1.

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Jan Siegmund
Jan Siegmund on 8 Jul 2020
Edited: Jan Siegmund on 31 Aug 2020
Users that looked for a waitbar style solution should have a look at which is basically waitbar but with an up to date look.


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