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Add Interactive Controls to a Live Script

You can add sliders, drop-downs, check boxes, edit fields, and buttons to your live scripts to control variable values interactively. Adding interactive controls to a script is useful when you want to share the script with others. Use interactive controls to set and change the values of variables in your live script using familiar user interface components.

Insert Controls

To insert a control into a live script, go to the Live Editor tab, and in the Code section, click Control. Then, select from the available options. To replace an existing value with a control, select the value and then insert the control. The Control menu only shows options available for the selected value.

To configure an existing control, right-click the control and select Configure Control. Press Tab or Enter, or click outside of the control configuration menu to return to the live script.

ControlDescriptionConfiguration Details

Numeric Slider

Use numeric sliders to interactively change the value of a variable by moving the slider thumb to the desired numeric value.

The value to the left of the slider is its current value.

In the Values section, specify a Min, Max, and Step value.

Drop-Down List

Use drop-down lists to interactively change the value of a variable by selecting from a list of values.

Hover over the text displayed in the drop-down list to see its current value.

In the Items section, in the Item Labels field, specify the text that you want to display for each item in the drop-down list.

In the Item Values field, specify the values for each item in the drop-down line. Make sure to enclose text values in quotes or double quotes, because the Live Editor interprets each item in the list as code.

Check Box

Use check boxes to interactively set the value of a variable to either the logical value 1 (true) or the logical value 0 (false).

The displayed state of the check box (checked or not checked) determines its current value.

N/A

Edit Field

Use edit fields to interactively set the value of a variable to any typed input.

The text displayed in the edit field and the selected data type determines its current value.

In the Type section, in the Data type field, select from the available options to specify the data type of the text in the edit field.

Button

Use button controls to interactively run code on button click.

When using button controls, consider setting the Run field for all other controls in the live script to None. Then, the code only runs when the user clicks the button control. This can be useful when the live script requires multiple control values to be set before running the code.

To change the label displayed on the button, in the Label section, enter a label name.

Labels

To specify the label that you want to display next to the control when the code is hidden, in the Label section, enter a label name. This is also the text that displays on button controls in all views.

To hide the code and only display labeled controls, output, and formatted text, click the hide code button to the right of the live script. You also can go to the View tab, and in the View section, click Hide Code. To show the code again, click the output inline button or the output on right button.

Execution

By default, when the value of a control changes, the Live Editor runs the code in the current section. To configure this behavior, in the Execution section of the control configuration menu, specify these fields:

  • Run On (slider control only) — Select Value changing to run the code while the value of the slider is changing. Select Value changed to wait until the slider value is done changing (user has released the slider thumb).

  • Run — Select from the available options to determine what code runs when the value of the control changes. For example, Current section to only run the section that includes the control when the control value changes. Select Current section to end to run the section that includes the control and any sections that follow.

    Tip

    When using a button control in a live script, consider setting the Run field for all other controls in the live script to None. Then, the code only runs when the user clicks the button control. This can be useful when the live script requires multiple control values to be set before running the code.

Create Live Script with Multiple Interactive Controls

This example shows how you can use interactive controls to visualize and investigate patient data in MATLAB®. The example plots the height versus the weight of either male or female patients, and highlights the patients over a specified height and weight.

Use the interactive controls to specify the gender of the patients to plot, as well as the threshold height and weight. To view and interact with the controls, open this example in your browser or in MATLAB.

load patients

thresholdHeight = 68; % Slider with min=60, max=70, step=1
thresholdWeight = 132; % Slider with min=111, max=202, step=1
selectedGender = "Female"; % Drop down with options "Male", "Female"

overThresholdWeights = Weight(Gender==selectedGender & Weight>=thresholdWeight & Height>=thresholdHeight);
overThresholdHeights = Height(Gender==selectedGender & Weight>=thresholdWeight & Height>=thresholdHeight);

sp1 = scatter(Height(Gender==selectedGender),Weight(Gender==selectedGender),'blue');
hold on

sp2 = scatter(overThresholdHeights, overThresholdWeights,'red');
hold off

title('Height vs. Weight of ' + selectedGender + ' Patients')

legendText = sprintf('Patients over %d inches and %d pounds.',thresholdHeight,thresholdWeight);
legend(sp2,legendText,'Location','southoutside')

Share Live Script

When the live script is complete, share it with others. Users can open the live script in MATLAB® and experiment with using the controls interactively.

If you share the live script itself as an interactive document, consider hiding the code in the live script before sharing it. When the code is hidden, the Live Editor only displays labeled controls, output, and formatted text. To hide the code, click the hide code button to the right of the live script. You also can go to the View tab, and in the View section, click Hide Code.

If you share the live script as a static PDF, Microsoft® Word, HTML, or LaTeX document, the Live Editor saves the control as code. For example, in the live script shown here, the Live Editor replaces the slider controls with their current value (68 and 132) and replaces the drop-down control with the current value of the drop-down ("Female").

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