Introduction of basic MATLAB interface and quick access tools

Matrix Laboratoryn (MATLAB) is a high-level language that is matrix based and includes an interactive environment for numerical computation, visualization,development and programming which was originally written in FROTRAN (Formual Translation). The present module is based on R 2017a version and is available for 64 bit Windows, Mac and Linux operating system. All the MATLAB variables used in MATLAB are stored in form of array. This article will explain the basic MATLAB interface and its useful tools.

Basic MATLAB interface

Following is the default interface that appears on starting the MATLAB software. This is divided into three windows i.e. command window, workspace window and current folder window.

Showing the basic interface of Matlab

Figure- Basic  MATLAB interface

  • Command window allows commands to be executed are written and results from the executed commands are also displayed.
  • Workspace window displays the variables to be used.the variables used for analysis are displayed.
  • Current folder window displays the files displayed and the researcher can access same.

Understanding the quick access toolbar

Further, the MATLAB interface consists of a toolbar on top of the window called “Quick Access Toolbar” consisting of three tabs namely “Home”, “Plots” and “Apps”. These are called Global Tabs. The figures below show the home, plot and app tab respectively.

Matlab allows the users the access of the home tab in its interface

Figure Quick Access Toolbar for HOME tab in MATLAB

Matlab interface also provides the quick access for its users to make the plot

Using Quick Access Toolbar for PLOT tab in MATLAB

Quick access for apps in the Matlab interface

Quick Access Toolbar for APPS tab in MATLAB interface

Global Tabs and their basic features

Global Tabs The Home Tab The Plot Tab The App Tab
Objective Provides access to basic and frequently used commands Provides access to various plots and graphs Provides access to frequently apps having higher and complex functionality
Features 1. To open a new,existing document documents.

2. Import and compare content on files

3. Open and create variables

4. Run and analyze code

5. Clear code and command

6. Add-ons like; set-path, parallel computing

7. Support and help

Presents all the available plots in MATLAB including line plots, stem and stair plots, bar plots and scatter plots. 1.      Curve Fitting for fitting the curve and surfaces to data.

2.      Optimization app to setup and solve optimization problems

3.      Signal Analyzer to view, analyzes and compare signals.

4.      Image Acquisition to acquires images and videos from hardware.

5.      Instrument Control to Control instruments like oscilloscope.

6.      SimBiology to model and simulate biological systems.

7.      Classification Learner to trains models which will classify data.

8.      Distribution Filter to fit probability distribution to data.

9.      Neural Net Cluttering to solve clustering problems using networks.

10.  Neural Net Pattern Recognition to solve pattern recognition problem using feed forward networks.

11.  Neural Net Time Series to solve nonlinear time series problems

Table – Description of Quick Access Toolbar

The next article will explain in detail about the workspace window where one can add different types of variables.


Soumya Srivastava

Soumya Srivastava

Research Analyst at Project Guru
Soumya has completed her MBA in HR from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Kurukshetra and is Bachelor in Information Technology. She loves numbers, their patterns and the infinity nature possessed by them. When it comes to computers, she has interest in memory allocation and virtual memory. In her spare time she likes to read sun signs and personality traits. She believes in hard work and considers smart work to be incomplete without hard work.
Soumya Srivastava

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Related articles

  • Matrices and arrays in MATLAB The basics of MATLAB were discussed in the previous module. It covered topics on interface of MATLAB software and the basic operations of MATLAB along the help and documentation features.
  • Adding variables to workspace window in MATLAB As discussed in the previous article, workspace is a space wherein the variables used and created in a study are displayed. The variables can also be imported from data files or other programs.
  • Search and help in MATLAB MATLAB provides various ways in which a user can access help within the software for better understanding of the functions. Similarly, many search options are provided to search text, characters and functions in the software in order to fix errors and avoid bugs.
  • Formatting output and help in MATLAB In the previous articles, the discussion revolved around the use of command window and how variables are added to working window. In the present article, the focus will be on how to format output and further use MATLAB for documentation without errors.
  • Handling text value and characters in MATLAB If the text value itself contains single quote; eg. Sam’s in the image 2 below, then three single quotes are used within the statement. Two for text and one for the apostrophe.


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