Pre-Emptive Formatting

Jump to: navigation, search

Many settings can be made before a plot is constructed. For instance, one can select the colour that a line will be before the line is drawn.

General Syntax

>> property(value1, value2, ...)

This will set the property to the values selected. When more than one value is chosen, the values are used on plots in the order they are input so that

>> property(value1, value2, value3)
>> dl(w)
>> pl(w2)
>> pm(w3)
>> pe(w4)

is equivilent to

>> property(value1)
>> dl(w)
>> property(value2)
>> pl(w2)
>> property(value3)
>> pm(w3)
>> property(value1)
>> pe(w4)


To set the colour of markers and lines in plots use the command

>> acolor('color')

where 'color' may be a standard matlab character:

'r', 'g', 'b', 'c', 'm', 'y', 'k', 'w'

or any of the colour names

'red', 'geen', 'blue', 'cyan', 'magenta', 'yellow', 'black', 'white'


To set the width and type of line use the command

>> aline('linestyle')
>> aline(linewidth)
>> aline('linestyle', linewidth)

where linewidth is a number. Valid linestyles are given here.


To set the marker style and width use the command

>> amark('marker style')
>> amark(markerwidth)
>> amark('marker style', markerwidth

where markerwidth is a number. Valid marker styles are given here.

Using Name Tags

When a plot is made, it may be given a name and a tag. If you only want to change the properties of plots with a particular name and tag then use the syntax

>> property(name, tag, value1, value2, value3,...)

now only plots that are made with the command

>> plottype(w, name, tag)

will have the properties that have been set. All other plots will retain whatever global properties were set previously.

See Using Default Properties and Name Tags for further information.


If the following properties are set

>> acolor('red', 'green', 'blue')
>> amark('o', 3, '*', 4, 'o', 1)
>> aline('--', 5, '.-', 2)
>> amark('toby', 'plot', 2)

then the following would happen under various circumstances

Commands Given Result Reason
>> dl(w1) Line plot of w1 in red, style '--', size 5 First plot is set to red, '--' size 5
>> pl(w2) Line over plot of w2 in green, style '.-', size 5 Follows next color and line properties
>> pm(w2,'color','red') Marker over plot of w2 in red, style '0' size 3 Properties set at plot level over-ride pre-determined defaults, this is the first time a marker is used on this plot so it takes the first value
>> dl(w1,'name','Dickon plot','tag',) New figure line plot of w1 in red Name tag given, so new window and uses the first colour
Commands Given Result Reason
>> dm(w1,'name','toby','tag','plot') Marker plot of w1 style 'o', size 2, colour red The marker styles were set globally, so these are used, however there was a specific marker size set for plots with the name-tag toby plot so this is used. Colours are used from the globally set values.
>> dm(w2,'name','toby','tag','plot') Marker plot of w2 style 'o', size 2, colour red This is a new plot, so starts at the first values.
>> pm(w1,'name','toby','tag','plot') Marker over plot of w1 in green, style '*' size 2 The next set of values is used for colour and style, but all toby plots must have marker size 2.
>> pm(w1,'name','toby','tag','plot') Marker overplot of w1 in blue, style 'o' size 2 The style has now cycled around to it's first value.