Transparent PNG file on background in Matlab GUI

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Frank on 5 Jun 2012
Commented: Serge on 6 Nov 2022
For my GUI i have set a background image and now I want to put a (partly) transparent PNG image on a pushbutton on top of this background image, while keeping the background visible in the parts where the button image is transparent. How do I do this?
Thanks in advance!

Answers (3)

Robert Cumming
Robert Cumming on 12 Dec 2014
I know this is an old post - but if anyone comes across this you may be interested in this blog on undocumentedmatlab

Klont on 26 Jul 2015
Edited: Klont on 26 Jul 2015
Simply make a matrix of size height (pixels) x width (pixels) x 3 (rgb) of doubles between 0 and 1, with NaN indicating transparency.
  1 Comment
Serge on 6 Nov 2022
This works if you are happy with alpha being all or nothing...

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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 5 Jun 2012
You cannot do this directly. The uicontrol() that can have images placed on them (such as pushbutton) have a CData property that must be truecolor (RGB) values, but there is no alpha property, so there is no way to define transparency for such images.
The work-around is to figure out which part of the background image the button would be covering up, and to store the corresponding pixel values into the image array locations that should be transparent, and then to use that as the CData.
Ideally you would re-do this when the figure was resized; that would have to be triggered off of the figure resize callback, as uicontrol do not have a resize callback.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 6 Jun 2012
I suspect bg_image is 3 dimensional (truecolor, RGB) rather than 2 dimensional. You probably need to add a third index when extracting bg_button

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