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Why does "Auto Width" feature not adapt to table axes size in GUIDE?

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I'm trying to understand why in GUIDE, when I insert a table element, in the "Table Property Editor", the "Auto Width" feature does not automatically fill in the axes with the total width of the table columns. It seems the number of pixels that is being used as the "maximum width" of the table is being set to something other than the axes width. That seems counterintuitive to me. Is there a way to enable Matlab to, by default, expand the table columns automatically to fill in its containing axes? I spend a lot of time trying to manually adjust these to make it fit.


Adam on 1 Jul 2019
You can do it using the underlying java table, with some undocumented options (well, they are documented, just not in Mathworks documentation!), but not in Matlab itself.
As ImageAnalyst mentions, AutoWidth is just for sizing individual columns and it only works when you actually run the GUI, the table representation within GUIDE is pretty static apart from updating with the column names, etc.
This is a restriction of uitable in general, rather than anything specific to GUIDE though - the same behaviour occurs when just creating a uitable yourself (in terms of how auto column width works and having to use java to fill the full table width).
It is a very annoying feature because badly sized tables do look rather ugly in a UI and the possibility for scrollbars in a table can add extra complications too.
Kristoffer Walker
Kristoffer Walker on 1 Jul 2019
Thank you, Adam. I guess there could also be an "AutoExpand" option in App Designer if there isn't already one planned. Yes, I see the issue with scrollbars. They should also be "toggleable" to have them automatically turned off from being displayed. There is a similar issue with having row numbers be interpreted as a column, which changes the space budget when transitioning from 9 rows to 10.

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Accepted Answer

Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 1 Jul 2019
Not that I've been able to figure out. I've noticed also that AutoSize columns does not work for GUIDE. But Autosize is supposed to size the column width according to the widest cell contents in each column, not autosize columns to the width of the table control on your GUI.
The Mathworks is not putting any more work into GUIDE. They're focusing solely on App Designer from now on, so there will be no fix coming from them.

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Kristoffer Walker
Kristoffer Walker on 1 Jul 2019
Many thanks for that explanation. I will keep that in mind for future development.

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More Answers (1)

Yair Altman
Yair Altman on 5 Jul 2019
Edited: Yair Altman on 5 Jul 2019
The "AutoWidth" setting of the uitable only sets the individual column's width based on its contents. It does not control the entire table's width. You can easily control this in Matlab, if you are willing to get your hands dirty with the [undocumented] underlying Java control. For this you will need to use the findjobj utility, as follows:
hTable = uitable(...);
jscroll = findjobj(hTable);
jTable = jscroll.getViewport.getView;
I discuss scrollbars, column widths and selection behavior in section 4.1.3 of my book "Undocumented Secrets of Matlab-Java Programming" and [in more detail] in my uitable customization report. You can find various other types of usefull customizations to uitable and other Matlab controls on my website.




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