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DropDown Properties

Control drop-down list appearance and behavior

Drop-down lists are UI components that enable the user to select an option or type in text. Properties control the appearance and behavior of a drop-down list. Use dot notation to refer to a specific object and property.

fig = uifigure;
dd = uidropdown(fig);
dd.Items = {'Red','Green','Blue'};

Drop-Down

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Value, specified as an element of the Items or ItemsData arrays. By default, Value is the first element in Items.

Specifying Value as an element of Items selects the drop-down item that matches that element. If ItemsData is not empty, then Value must be set to an element of ItemsData, and the drop-down will select the associated item in the list.

When Editable is set to 'on', you can additionally specify Value as a character vector or string scalar.

Placeholder text, specified as a character vector or string scalar. The placeholder provides a short description of the drop-down items. The placeholder text appears only when the drop-down displays ''. There are two situations where this happens:

  • The Value property is set to ''.

  • The Value property is set to an element of ItemsData whose corresponding item is ''.

For example, to display a placeholder in a drop-down with no ItemsData, add '' to Items and set the Value property to '':

fig = uifigure('Position',[100 100 300 200]);
dd = uidropdown(fig,'Items',{'','One','Two'}, ...
                'Value','', ...
                'Placeholder','Options');

Drop-down items, specified as a cell array of character vectors, string array, or 1-D categorical array. Duplicate elements are allowed. The drop-down component displays as many options as there are elements in the Items array. If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB® uses the values in the array, not the full set of categories.

Example: {'Red','Yellow','Blue'}

Example: {'1','2','3'}

Data associated with each element of the Items property value, specified as a 1-by-n numeric array or a 1-by-n cell array. Duplicate elements are allowed.

For example, if you set the Items value to employee names, you might set the ItemsData value to corresponding employee ID numbers. The ItemsData value is not visible to the app user.

If the number of array elements in the ItemsData value and the Items value do not match, one of the following occurs:

  • When the ItemsData value is empty, then all the elements of the Items value are presented to the app user.

  • When the ItemsData value has more elements than the Items value, then all the elements of the Items value are presented to the app user. MATLAB ignores the extra ItemsData elements.

  • When the ItemsData value is not empty, but has fewer elements than the Items value, the only elements of the Items value presented to the app user are those that have a corresponding element in the ItemsData value.

Example: {'One','Two','Three'}

Example: [10 20 30 40]

Font and Color

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Font name, specified as a system supported font name. The default font depends on the specific operating system and locale.

If the specified font is not available, then MATLAB uses the best match among the fonts available on the system where the app is running.

Example: 'Arial'

Font size, specified as a positive number. The units of measurement are pixels. The default font size depends on the specific operating system and locale.

Example: 14

Font weight, specified as one of these values:

  • 'normal' — Default weight as defined by the particular font

  • 'bold' — Thicker character outlines than 'normal'

Not all fonts have a bold font weight. For fonts that do not, specifying 'bold' results in the normal font weight.

Font angle, specified as 'normal' or 'italic'. Not all fonts have an italic font angle. For fonts that do not, specifying 'italic' results in the normal font angle.

Font color, specified as an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, or one of the options listed in the table.

RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes are useful for specifying custom colors.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

Sample of the color red

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

Sample of the color green

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

Sample of the color blue

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

Sample of the color cyan

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

Sample of the color magenta

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

Sample of the color yellow

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

Sample of the color black

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

Sample of the color white

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

Sample of RGB triplet [0 0.4470 0.7410], which appears as dark blue

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.8500 0.3250 0.0980], which appears as dark orange

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.9290 0.6940 0.1250], which appears as dark yellow

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.4940 0.1840 0.5560], which appears as dark purple

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.4660 0.6740 0.1880], which appears as medium green

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.3010 0.7450 0.9330], which appears as light blue

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.6350 0.0780 0.1840], which appears as dark red

Background color, specified as an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, or one of the color options listed in the table.

RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes are useful for specifying custom colors.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

Sample of the color red

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

Sample of the color green

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

Sample of the color blue

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

Sample of the color cyan

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

Sample of the color magenta

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

Sample of the color yellow

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

Sample of the color black

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

Sample of the color white

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

Sample of RGB triplet [0 0.4470 0.7410], which appears as dark blue

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.8500 0.3250 0.0980], which appears as dark orange

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.9290 0.6940 0.1250], which appears as dark yellow

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.4940 0.1840 0.5560], which appears as dark purple

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.4660 0.6740 0.1880], which appears as medium green

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.3010 0.7450 0.9330], which appears as light blue

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Sample of RGB triplet [0.6350 0.0780 0.1840], which appears as dark red

Interactivity

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State of visibility, specified as 'on' or 'off', or as numeric or logical 1 (true) or 0 (false). A value of 'on' is equivalent to true, and 'off' is equivalent to false. Thus, you can use the value of this property as a logical value. The value is stored as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

  • 'on' — Display the object.

  • 'off' — Hide the object without deleting it. You still can access the properties of an invisible UI component.

To make your app start faster, set the Visible property to 'off' for all UI components that do not need to appear at startup.

Editable state of the drop-down component, specified as 'off' or 'on', or as numeric or logical 1 (true) or 0 (false). A value of 'on' is equivalent to true, and 'off' is equivalent to false. Thus, you can use the value of this property as a logical value. The value is stored as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

If the Enable property value is 'off', then the app user cannot change the drop-down component text, even if the Editable property value is 'on'.

Operational state, specified as 'on' or 'off', or as numeric or logical 1 (true) or 0 (false). A value of 'on' is equivalent to true, and 'off' is equivalent to false. Thus, you can use the value of this property as a logical value. The value is stored as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

  • If you set this property to 'on', the app user can interact with the component.

  • If you set this property to 'off', the component appears dimmed, indicating that the app user cannot interact with it, and that it will not trigger a callback.

Tooltip, specified as a character vector, cell array of character vectors, string array, or 1-D categorical array. Use this property to display a message when the user hovers the pointer over the component at run time. The tooltip displays even when the component is disabled. To display multiple lines of text, specify a cell array of character vectors or a string array. Each element in the array becomes a separate line of text. If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB uses the values in the array, not the full set of categories.

Context menu, specified as a ContextMenu object created using the uicontextmenu function. Use this property to display a context menu when you right-click on a component.

Position

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Location and size of the drop-down component relative to the parent, specified as the vector [left bottom width height]. This table describes each element in the vector.

ElementDescription
leftDistance from the inner left edge of the parent container to the outer left edge of the drop-down component
bottomDistance from the inner bottom edge of the parent container to the outer bottom edge of the drop-down component
widthDistance between the right and left outer edges of the drop-down component
heightDistance between the top and bottom outer edges of the drop-down component

All measurements are in pixel units.

The Position values are relative to the drawable area of the parent container. The drawable area is the area inside the borders of the container and does not include the area occupied by decorations such as a menu bar or title.

Example: [100 100 100 22]

Inner location and size of the drop-down component, specified as [left bottom width height]. Position values are relative to the parent container. All measurements are in pixel units. This property value is identical to Position for drop-down components.

This property is read-only.

Outer location and size of drop-down component returned as [left bottom width height]. Position values are relative to the parent container. All measurements are in pixel units. This property value is identical to Position for drop-down components.

Layout options, specified as a GridLayoutOptions object. This property specifies options for components that are children of grid layout containers. If the component is not a child of a grid layout container (for example, it is a child of a figure or panel), then this property is empty and has no effect. However, if the component is a child of a grid layout container, you can place the component in the desired row and column of the grid by setting the Row and Column properties on the GridLayoutOptions object.

For example, this code places a drop-down in the third row and second column of its parent grid.

g = uigridlayout([4 3]);
dd = uidropdown(g);
dd.Layout.Row = 3;
dd.Layout.Column = 2;

To make the drop-down span multiple rows or columns, specify the Row or Column property as a two-element vector. For example, this drop-down spans columns 2 through 3:

dd.Layout.Column = [2 3];

Callbacks

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Value changed callback, specified as one of these values:

  • A function handle.

  • A cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • A character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

This callback function executes when the user selects a different option from the drop-down list. It does not execute if the Value property changes programmatically.

This callback function can access specific information about the user’s interaction with the drop-down. MATLAB passes this information in a ValueChangedData object as the second argument to your callback function. In App Designer, the argument is called event. You can query the object properties using dot notation. For example, event.PreviousValue returns the previous value of the drop-down. The ValueChangedData object is not available to callback functions specified as character vectors.

The following table lists the properties of the ValueChangedData object.

PropertyValue
ValueDrop-down component value after app user’s most recent interaction with it.
PreviousValueDrop-down component value before app user’s most recent interaction with it.
Edited

Logical value that indicates whether the callback was executed as a result of typing a new value into the drop-down component.

  • 0 (false) — The app user selected or typed an element of the Items property of the drop-down component.

  • 1 (true) — The app user typed a value that is not an element of the Items property of the drop-down component.

SourceComponent that executes the callback.
EventName'ValueChanged'

For more information about writing callbacks, see Write Callbacks in App Designer.

Drop-down menu opening callback function, specified as one of these values:

  • A function handle.

  • A cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • A character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when the user clicks to open the drop-down menu. A possible use for this callback is to dynamically update the list of entries in the drop-down menu.

This callback function can access specific information about the user’s interaction with the drop-down. MATLAB passes this information in a DropDownOpeningData object as the second argument to your callback function. In App Designer, the argument is called event. You can query the object properties using dot notation. For example, event.Source returns the DropDown object that the user interacts with to trigger the callback. The DropDownOpeningData object is not available to callback functions specified as character vectors.

The following table lists the properties of the DropDownOpeningData object.

PropertyValue
SourceComponent that executes the callback
EventName'DropDownOpening'

For more information about writing callbacks, see Write Callbacks in App Designer.

Object creation function, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle.

  • Cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • Character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see Write Callbacks in App Designer.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB creates the object. MATLAB initializes all property values before executing the CreateFcn callback. If you do not specify the CreateFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default creation function.

Setting the CreateFcn property on an existing component has no effect.

If you specify this property as a function handle or cell array, you can access the object that is being created using the first argument of the callback function. Otherwise, use the gcbo function to access the object.

Object deletion function, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle.

  • Cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • Character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see Write Callbacks in App Designer.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB deletes the object. MATLAB executes the DeleteFcn callback before destroying the properties of the object. If you do not specify the DeleteFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default deletion function.

If you specify this property as a function handle or cell array, you can access the object that is being deleted using the first argument of the callback function. Otherwise, use the gcbo function to access the object.

Callback Execution Control

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Callback interruption, specified as 'on' or 'off', or as numeric or logical 1 (true) or 0 (false). A value of 'on' is equivalent to true, and 'off' is equivalent to false. Thus, you can use the value of this property as a logical value. The value is stored as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

This property determines if a running callback can be interrupted. There are two callback states to consider:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

MATLAB determines callback interruption behavior whenever it executes a command that processes the callback queue. These commands include drawnow, figure, uifigure, getframe, waitfor, and pause.

If the running callback does not contain one of these commands, then no interruption occurs. MATLAB first finishes executing the running callback, and later executes the interrupting callback.

If the running callback does contain one of these commands, then the Interruptible property of the object that owns the running callback determines if the interruption occurs:

  • If the value of Interruptible is 'off', then no interruption occurs. Instead, the BusyAction property of the object that owns the interrupting callback determines if the interrupting callback is discarded or added to the callback queue.

  • If the value of Interruptible is 'on', then the interruption occurs. The next time MATLAB processes the callback queue, it stops the execution of the running callback and executes the interrupting callback. After the interrupting callback completes, MATLAB then resumes executing the running callback.

Note

Callback interruption and execution behave differently in these situations:

  • If the interrupting callback is a DeleteFcn, CloseRequestFcn, or SizeChangedFcn callback, then the interruption occurs regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • If the running callback is currently executing the waitfor function, then the interruption occurs regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • If the interrupting callback is owned by a Timer object, then the callback executes according to schedule regardless of the Interruptible property value.

Note

When an interruption occurs, MATLAB does not save the state of properties or the display. For example, the object returned by the gca or gcf command might change when another callback executes.

Callback queuing, specified as 'queue' or 'cancel'. The BusyAction property determines how MATLAB handles the execution of interrupting callbacks. There are two callback states to consider:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

The BusyAction property determines callback queuing behavior only when both of these conditions are met:

  • The running callback contains a command that processes the callback queue, such as drawnow, figure, uifigure, getframe, waitfor, or pause.

  • The value of the Interruptible property of the object that owns the running callback is 'off'.

Under these conditions, the BusyAction property of the object that owns the interrupting callback determines how MATLAB handles the interrupting callback. These are possible values of the BusyAction property:

  • 'queue' — Puts the interrupting callback in a queue to be processed after the running callback finishes execution.

  • 'cancel' — Does not execute the interrupting callback.

This property is read-only.

Deletion status, returned as an on/off logical value of type matlab.lang.OnOffSwitchState.

MATLAB sets the BeingDeleted property to 'on' when the DeleteFcn callback begins execution. The BeingDeleted property remains set to 'on' until the component object no longer exists.

Check the value of the BeingDeleted property to verify that the object is not about to be deleted before querying or modifying it.

Parent/Child

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Parent container, specified as a Figure object created using the uifigure function, or one of its child containers: Tab, Panel, ButtonGroup, or GridLayout. If no container is specified, MATLAB calls the uifigure function to create a new Figure object that serves as the parent container.

Visibility of the object handle, specified as 'on', 'callback', or 'off'.

This property controls the visibility of the object in its parent's list of children. When an object is not visible in its parent's list of children, it is not returned by functions that obtain objects by searching the object hierarchy or querying properties. These functions include get, findobj, clf, and close. Objects are valid even if they are not visible. If you can access an object, you can set and get its properties, and pass it to any function that operates on objects.

HandleVisibility ValueDescription
'on'The object is always visible.
'callback'The object is visible from within callbacks or functions invoked by callbacks, but not from within functions invoked from the command line. This option blocks access to the object at the command-line, but allows callback functions to access it.
'off'The object is invisible at all times. This option is useful for preventing unintended changes to the UI by another function. Set the HandleVisibility to 'off' to temporarily hide the object during the execution of that function.

Identifiers

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This property is read-only.

Type of graphics object, returned as 'uidropdown'.

Object identifier, specified as a character vector or string scalar. You can specify a unique Tag value to serve as an identifier for an object. When you need access to the object elsewhere in your code, you can use the findobj function to search for the object based on the Tag value.

User data, specified as any MATLAB array. For example, you can specify a scalar, vector, matrix, cell array, character array, table, or structure. Use this property to store arbitrary data on an object.

If you are working in App Designer, create public or private properties in the app to share data instead of using the UserData property. For more information, see Share Data Within App Designer Apps.

See Also

Functions

Introduced in R2016a