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GUI inside another GUI

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Clément P
Clément P on 30 Mar 2016
Commented: Clément P on 31 Mar 2016
Hi everyone,
I want to open a GUI (GUI_Retrait) in my first GUI (GUI3) but I have trouble with it. I use GUIDE for GUI3 and I create GUI_Retrait without GUIDE.
To call GUI_Retrait I use the method described here :
I have an error in my first GUI when I'm calling the second one. The error is :
Error using getappdata
Value must be a handle.
Error in GUI3>Retrait_Callback (line 279)
handles.GUI_Retrait_struct=getappdata(handles.GUI_Retrait); % save the handle of
gui_b in gui_a
Error in gui_mainfcn (line 96)
Error in GUI3 (line 42)
gui_mainfcn(gui_State, varargin{:});
Error in
Error while evaluating uicontrol Callback
I think I don't create my second GUI (GUI_retrait) the right way. I don't know how to create the handle of the GUI itself.
Does someone know how to fix this?
Here is the code of my second GUI : (I have several checkboxes which depend on a number given by GUI3)
function handles=GUI_Retrait
%Retrive Datas from GUI3
handles.GUI3=getappdata(0,'GUI3'); % retrieve handle of GUI_A
handles.GUI3_struct=getappdata(handles.GUI3); % retrieve handle to the structure used in GUI_A
handles.GUI3_data=handles.GUI3_struct.UsedByGUIData_m; % retrieve data inside the structure
handles.GUI_Retrait.h=figure('Name','Eprouvette(s) à retirer','NumberTitle','off','Position',[300 300 300 400]);
handles.GUI_Retrait.pb=uicontrol('Parent',handles.GUI_Retrait.h,'Style', 'Pushbutton',...
'String', {'Retirer'},...
'Position', [150 100 120 50],...
for i=1:handles.GUI3_data.n
str=sprintf('Eprouvette n°%s',num2str(i));'Parent',handles.GUI_Retrait.h,...
'Style', 'checkbox',...
'String', {str},...
'Position', [20 400-50*i 100 50]);
Thanks. Clément


Adam on 30 Mar 2016
assumes that handles.GUI_Retrait is a graphics object that you have previously used setappdata to set some data on.
It is difficult to assess from the code you have posted because it doesn't seem to include the line that yields the error, but assuming your 'handles' here is the same one as that returned by your GUI_Retrait function then
is a structure, not a graphics object handle because you are just creating it with fields in a line such as:
handles.GUI_Retrait.h=figure('Name','Eprouvette(s) à retirer','NumberTitle','off','Position',[300 300 300 400]);
I'm not too familiar with doing a programmatic UI in a function because I always do mine in a class which naturally stores all the components I need so it doesn't require the concept of appdata so it's hard to give any concrete advice on small changes to fix your problem, especially since I suspect some of the problems originate from code you haven't included.
Clément P
Clément P on 31 Mar 2016
Hi Adam,
Thanks for your answer.
It is right that I didn't created the handles first. Now I have added the line :
But I still have the same error. I assume GUIDE is doing something that I'm not doing right manually in GUI_Retrait. I also tried the command "handles=guihandles" but I still have the same error.

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Accepted Answer

Orion on 30 Mar 2016
When you call your second gui (GUI_Retrait), do you first close the main gui ?
If so, the error message is normal.
For what I understand, when you create the main GUI, you stock the handle in the appdata of the root (setappdata(0,'GUI3',yourHandle)). So the handle is stored. But if you close the main figure, the value of the handle is still stored, but the GUI doesn't exist anymore, so you can't use the value as a handle.
to be clear, test this :
f = figure;
ishandle(f) % the answer is 1
close(f); % destroy the object
ishandle(f) % the answer is 0
f still exist but is not a handle anymore.
Is this the problem you have ?


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Clément P
Clément P on 31 Mar 2016
It's funny that you only add the Tag 'GUI_Retrait' on the PushButton but it gives me the handles of the figure and checkboxes too.
Anyway it works perfectly now.
Thanks a lot Orion ! ;)
Orion on 31 Mar 2016
My bad ! :)
I wanted to put this tag on the figure.
And you should put this tag on the figure.
It works because of the guidata function which search automatically the figure parent of the handle. That's just good luck :)
Clément P
Clément P on 31 Mar 2016
Ahah ! First time I'm lucky with Matlab :D
Thanks again !

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