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Create figure for designing apps



fig = uifigure creates a figure for building a user interface and returns the Figure object. This is the type of figure that App Designer uses.


fig = uifigure(Name,Value) specifies figure properties using one or more name-value arguments.


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Create a blank figure for app building.

fig = uifigure;

Blank UI figure window

Create a UI figure with a specific title and icon.

fig = uifigure("Name","Plotted Results", ...

UI Figure window. The title at the top of the window is Plotted Results and the icon is an image of peppers.

Query the figure background color.

c = fig.Color
c = 1×3

    0.9400    0.9400    0.9400

Create a default UI figure.

fig = uifigure;

Blank UI figure window.

Get the location, width, and height of the figure.

ans =

   681   559   560   420

This means that the figure window is positioned 681 pixels to the right and 559 pixels above the bottom left corner of the primary display, and is 560 pixels wide and 420 pixels tall.

Halve the figure width and height by adjusting the third and fourth elements of the position vector.

fig.Position(3:4) = [280 210];

Blank UI figure window. The window is half as tall as half as wide as the default window.

Create two UI figure windows. Block interactions in Figure 1 by specifying 'modal' as the WindowStyle property value for Figure 2. Notice that you cannot interact with Figure 1 until Figure 2 is closed.

fig1 = uifigure('Name','Figure 1');
fig1.Position = [500 500 370 270];

fig2 = uifigure('Name','Figure 2');
fig2.Position = [540 450 370 270];
fig2.WindowStyle = 'modal';

Code the CloseRequestFcn callback to open a modal confirmation dialog box when the user tries to close the window.

Copy and paste this code into the MATLAB® Editor, and then run closeFig.

function closeFig
fig = uifigure('Position',[100 100 425 275]);
fig.CloseRequestFcn = @(src,event)my_closereq(src);

    function my_closereq(fig)
        selection = uiconfirm(fig,'Close the figure window?',...
        switch selection
            case 'OK'
            case 'Cancel'


Click the figure close button. The confirmation dialog box opens.

Confirmation dialog box in a figure window. The dialog says "Close the figure window?" next to a question mark icon. There are OK and Cancel buttons at the bottom.

Change the displayed mouse pointer symbol when you hover over a push button.

This program file, called setMousePointer.m, shows you how to:

  • Create a UI figure which executes custom code when the mouse is moved over a button. To do this, use the @ operator to assign the mouseMoved function handle to the WindowButtonMotionFcn property of the figure.

  • Create a push button and specify its coordinates and label.

  • Create a callback function called mouseMoved with the custom code you want to execute when the mouse moves over the button. In the function, query the CurrentPoint property to determine the mouse pointer coordinates. Set the Pointer property to 'hand' if the pointer coordinates are within the push button coordinates.

Run setMousePointer. Then move the mouse over the push button to see the mouse pointer symbol change from an arrow to a hand.

function setMousePointer
fig = uifigure('Position',[500 500 375 275]);
fig.WindowButtonMotionFcn = @mouseMoved;

btn = uibutton(fig);
btnX = 50;
btnY = 50;
btnWidth = 100;
btnHeight = 22;
btn.Position = [btnX btnY btnWidth btnHeight];
btn.Text = 'Submit Changes';

    function mouseMoved(src,event)
        mousePos = fig.CurrentPoint;
        if (mousePos(1) >= btnX) && (mousePos(1) <= btnX + btnWidth) ...
                && (mousePos(2) >= btnY) && (mousePos(2) <= btnY + btnHeight)
              fig.Pointer = 'hand';
              fig.Pointer = 'arrow';

Figure window with a button that says "Submit Changes". The mouse pointer is over the button, and is in the shape of a hand.

Input Arguments

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Name-Value Arguments

Specify optional pairs of arguments as Name1=Value1,...,NameN=ValueN, where Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name-value arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the pairs does not matter.

Example: uifigure(Name="My App") specifies My App as the title of the UI figure.

Before R2021a, use commas to separate each name and value, and enclose Name in quotes.

Example: uifigure("Name","My App") specifies My App as the title of the UI figure.


The properties listed here are a subset of the available properties. For the full list, see UI Figure Properties.

Window style, specified as one of the following:

  • 'normal' — The figure window is independent of other windows, and the other windows are accessible while the figure is displaying.

  • 'modal' — The figure displays on top of all existing figure windows with normal window style, making them inaccessible as long as the top figure exists and remains modal. However, any new figures created after a modal figure will display.

    When multiple modal windows exist, the most recently created window keeps focus and stays above all other windows until it becomes invisible, or is returned to a normal window style, or is deleted. At that time, focus reverts to the window that last had focus.

  • 'alwaysontop' — The figure displays on top of all other windows, including modal figure windows and windows from non-MATLAB applications. The other windows are still accessible.


These are some important characteristics of the WindowStyle property and some recommended best practices:

  • When you create UI windows, always specify the WindowStyle property. If you also want to set the Resize or Position properties of the figure, then set the WindowStyle property first.

  • You can change the WindowStyle property of a figure at any time, including when the figure is visible and contains children. However on some systems, setting this property might cause the figure to flash or disappear and reappear, depending on the system's implementation of normal and modal windows. For best visual results, set the WindowStyle property at creation time or when the figure is invisible.

UI Figure Modal Window Style Behavior

When WindowStyle is set to 'modal', the UI figure window blocks keyboard and mouse interactions in a UI figure window that was created before it and has its Visible property set to 'on'. For instance, in this example Figure 3 is modal with respect to Figure 2 and Figure 2 is modal with respect to Figure 1.

fig1 = uifigure('Name','Figure 1');
fig1.WindowStyle = 'modal';

fig2 = uifigure('Name','Figure 2');
fig2.WindowStyle = 'modal';

fig3 = uifigure('Name','Figure 3');
fig3.WindowStyle = 'modal';
The modality hierarchy is not preserved if there is a combination of modal and normal figures in the hierarchy of figures.

Unlike modal figures created with the figure function, modal figures created with the uifigure function do not block access to figures created with the figure function or the MATLAB desktop. Interactions with application windows other than MATLAB are also not blocked.

Typing Ctrl+C when a modal figure has focus causes that figure to revert to a 'normal' WindowStyle property setting. This allows the user to type at the command line.

UI figures with the WindowStyle property set to 'modal' and the Visible property set to 'off' do not behave modally until MATLAB makes them visible. Therefore, you can hide a modal window for later reuse, instead of destroying it.

Modal figures do not display menu children, built-in menus, or toolbars. But, it is not an error to create menus in a modal figure or to change the WindowStyle property setting to 'modal' on a figure with menu children. The Menu objects exist and the figure retains them. If you reset the UI figure WindowStyle property to 'normal', the menus display.

Name of the figure, specified as a character vector or a string scalar.

Example: uifigure('Name','Results') sets the name of the figure to 'Results'.

In App Designer, the default value of the Name property is 'MATLAB App'.

Location and size of the UI figure, excluding borders and title bar, specified as a four-element vector of the form [left bottom width height].

This table describes each element in the vector.

leftDistance from the left edge of the primary display to the inner left edge of the UI figure window. This value can be negative on systems that have more than one monitor.
bottomDistance from the bottom edge of the primary display to the inner bottom edge of the UI figure window. This value can be negative on systems that have more than one monitor.
widthDistance between the right and left inner edges of the UI figure.
heightDistance between the top and bottom inner edges of the UI figure.


  • Currently, you cannot pass a Figure object created with the uifigure function to the print function. If you attempt to do so, MATLAB throws an error. For more information, see Display Graphics in App Designer.


  • Use the graphics root object to set default values on the root level for other types of objects. For example, set the default colormap for all future figures to the summer colormap.

    To restore a property to its original MATLAB default, use the 'remove' keyword.
    For more information on setting default values, see Default Property Values.

  • To bring a figure window to the front, use the focus function.

Version History

Introduced in R2016a

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