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Create tabbed panel


t = uitab creates a tab inside a tab group and returns the Tab object. If there is no tab group available, MATLAB® calls the figure function to create a figure. Then it creates a tab group in that figure, and places the tab inside the tab group.

t = uitab(Name,Value) specifies tab property values using one or more name-value pair arguments.

t = uitab(parent) creates the tab in the specified parent container. The parent container can be a tab group in a figure created with either the figure or uifigure function. Property values for uitab vary slightly depending on whether the app is created with the figure or uifigure function. For more information, see Name-Value Pair Arguments.


t = uitab(parent,Name,Value) specifies the parent container and one or more properties values.


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Create a figure containing a tab group and two tabs.

f = figure;
tabgp = uitabgroup(f,'Position',[.05 .05 .3 .8]);
tab1 = uitab(tabgp,'Title','Settings');
tab2 = uitab(tabgp,'Title','Options');

Get the title of the first tab.

ans =


The Scrollable property enables scrolling within a tab that has components outside its borders. Scrolling is only possible when the parent tab group is in a figure created with the uifigure function. App Designer uses this type of figure for creating apps.

Create a tab group containing one tab. Add six UI components to the tab, with the first three lying outside the upper border of the tab.

fig = uifigure;
tg = uitabgroup(fig,'Position',[20 20 196 145]);
t = uitab(tg,'Title','Member Information');
ef1 = uieditfield(t,'text','Position',[11 165 140 22],'Value','First Name');
ef2 = uieditfield(t,'text','Position',[11 140 140 22],'Value','Last Name');
ef3 = uieditfield(t,'text','Position',[11 115 140 22],'Value','Address');
dd = uidropdown(t,'Position',[11 90 140 22],'Items',{'Male','Female'});
cb = uicheckbox(t,'Position',[11 65 140 22],'Text','Member');
b = uibutton(t,'Position',[11 40 140 22],'Text','Send');

Enable scrolling by setting the Scrollable property of the tab to 'on'. By default, the scroll box displays at the top.

t.Scrollable = 'on';

Input Arguments

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Parent container, specified as a tab group. The tab group can be a child of a figure created with either the figure or uifigure function.

Name-Value Arguments

Example: uitab('Title','Options') specifies that the tab title is Options.

Specify optional comma-separated pairs of Name,Value arguments. Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name must appear inside single quotes (' '). You can specify several name and value pair arguments as Name1,Value1,...,NameN,ValueN.


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

Title, specified as a character vector, string scalar, or categorical array. If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB displays only the first element in the array.

MATLAB does not interpret a vertical slash ('|') character as a line break, it displays as a vertical slash in the title.

If you want to specify a Unicode® character, pass the Unicode decimal code to the char function. For example, ['Multiples of ' char(960)] displays as Multiples of π.

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

This property is read-only.

Location and size of the tab, returned as a four-element vector of the form [left bottom width height]. This table describes each element in the vector.

leftDistance from the inner left edge of the tab group to the inner left edge of the tab
bottomDistance from the inner bottom edge of the tab group to the inner bottom edge of the tab
widthDistance between the right and left inner edges of the tab
heightDistance between the top and bottom inner edges of the tab

All measurements are in units specified by the Units property.


These are some important points to consider when using the Position property:

  • Position values are affected by the length of the tab title and the TabLocation property of the parent TabGroup object.

  • Position values are relative to the drawable area of the parent TabGroup, which is the area inside its borders.

  • If the tab is in a grid layout manager, the value of the Position property is not immediately updated. To use the Position value to resize the tab children relative to the tab size, use a SizeChangedFcn callback.

Units of measurement, specified as one of the values in this table.

Units ValueDescription
'pixels' (default)

Distances in pixels are independent of your system resolution on Windows® and Macintosh systems:

  • On Windows systems, a pixel is 1/96th of an inch.

  • On Macintosh systems, a pixel is 1/72nd of an inch.

On Linux® systems, the size of a pixel is determined by your system resolution.


These units are normalized with respect to the parent container. The lower-left corner of the container maps to (0,0) and the upper-right corner maps to (1,1).

'points'Points. One point equals 1/72nd of an inch.

The recommended value is 'pixels', because most MATLAB app building functionality measures distances in pixels.

figure-Based Apps

For tabs in apps created using the figure function, the default value of Units is 'normalized'.

In addition, you can specify Units as 'characters'. Character units are based on the default uicontrol font of the graphics root object:

  • Character width = width of the letter x.

  • Character height = distance between the baselines of two lines of text.

To access the default uicontrol font, use get(groot,'defaultuicontrolFontName') or set(groot,'defaultuicontrolFontName').

Version History

Introduced in R2014b

See Also