# Documentation

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# plot

## Syntax

• plot(X,Y)
example
• plot(X,Y,LineSpec)
• plot(X1,Y1,...,Xn,Yn)
example
• plot(X1,Y1,LineSpec1,...,Xn,Yn,LineSpecn)
example
• plot(Y)
example
• plot(Y,LineSpec)
• plot(___,Name,Value)
example
• plot(ax,___)
example
• h = plot(___)
example

## Description

example

plot(X,Y) creates a 2-D line plot of the data in Y versus the corresponding values in X.If X and Y are both vectors, then they must have equal length. The plot function plots Y versus X.If X and Y are both matrices, then they must have equal size. The plot function plots columns of Y versus columns of X.If one of X or Y is a vector and the other is a matrix, then the matrix must have dimensions such that one of its dimensions equals the vector length. If the number of matrix rows equals the vector length, then the plot function plots each matrix column versus the vector. If the number of matrix columns equals the vector length, then the function plots each matrix row versus the vector. If the matrix is square, then the function plots each column versus the vector.If one of X or Y is a scalar and the other is either a scalar or a vector, then the plot function plots discrete points. However, to see the points you must specify a marker symbol, for example, plot(X,Y,'o').
plot(X,Y,LineSpec) sets the line style, marker symbol, and color. 

example

plot(X1,Y1,...,Xn,Yn) plots multiple X, Y pairs using the same axes for all lines. 

example

plot(X1,Y1,LineSpec1,...,Xn,Yn,LineSpecn) sets the line style, marker type, and color for each line. You can mix X, Y, LineSpec triplets with X, Y pairs. For example, plot(X1,Y1,X2,Y2,LineSpec2,X3,Y3).

example

plot(Y) creates a 2-D line plot of the data in Y versus the index of each value. If Y is a vector, then the x-axis scale ranges from 1 to length(Y).If Y is a matrix, then the plot function plots the columns of Y versus their row number. The x-axis scale ranges from 1 to the number of rows in Y.If Y is complex, then the plot function plots the imaginary part of Y versus the real part of Y, such that plot(Y) is equivalent to plot(real(Y),imag(Y)).
plot(Y,LineSpec) sets the line style, marker symbol, and color.

example

plot(___,Name,Value) specifies line properties using one or more Name,Value pair arguments. For a list of properties, see Chart Line Properties. Use this option with any of the input argument combinations in the previous syntaxes. Name,Value pair settings apply to all the lines plotted. 

example

plot(ax,___) creates the line in the axes specified by ax instead of in the current axes (gca). The option ax can precede any of the input argument combinations in the previous syntaxes. 

example

h = plot(___) returns a column vector of chart line objects. Use h to modify properties of a specific chart line after it is created. For a list of properties, see Chart Line Properties.

## Examples

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Define x as a vector of linearly spaced values between 0 and . Use an increment of between the values. Define y as sine values of x.

x = 0:pi/100:2*pi; y = sin(x); 

Create a line plot of the data.

figure % opens new figure window plot(x,y) 

Define x as 100 linearly spaced values between and . Define y1 and y2 as sine and cosine values of x. Create a line plot of both sets of data.

x = linspace(-2*pi,2*pi); y1 = sin(x); y2 = cos(x); figure plot(x,y1,x,y2) 

Define Y as the 4-by-4 matrix returned by the magic function.

Y = magic(4) 
Y = 16 2 3 13 5 11 10 8 9 7 6 12 4 14 15 1 

Create a 2-D line plot of Y. MATLAB® plots each matrix column as a separate line.

figure plot(Y) 

Plot three sine curves with a small phase shift between each line. Use the default line style for the first line. Specify a dashed line style for the second line and a dotted line style for the third line.

x = 0:pi/100:2*pi; y1 = sin(x); y2 = sin(x-0.25); y3 = sin(x-0.5); figure plot(x,y1,x,y2,'--',x,y3,':') 

MATLAB® cycles the line color through the default color order.

Plot three sine curves with a small phase shift between each line. Use a green line with no markers for the first sine curve. Use a blue dashed line with circle markers for the second sine curve. Use only cyan star markers for the third sine curve.

x = 0:pi/10:2*pi; y1 = sin(x); y2 = sin(x-0.25); y3 = sin(x-0.5); figure plot(x,y1,'g',x,y2,'b--o',x,y3,'c*') 

Create a line plot and display markers at every fifth data point by specifying a marker symbol and setting the MarkerIndices property as a name-value pair.

x = linspace(0,10); y = sin(x); plot(x,y,'-o','MarkerIndices',1:5:length(y)) 

Create a line plot and use the LineSpec option to specify a dashed green line with square markers. Use Name,Value pairs to specify the line width, marker size, and marker colors. Set the marker edge color to blue and set the marker face color using an RGB color value.

x = -pi:pi/10:pi; y = tan(sin(x)) - sin(tan(x)); figure plot(x,y,'--gs',... 'LineWidth',2,... 'MarkerSize',10,... 'MarkerEdgeColor','b',... 'MarkerFaceColor',[0.5,0.5,0.5]) 

Use the linspace function to define x as a vector of 150 values between 0 and 10. Define y as cosine values of x.

x = linspace(0,10,150); y = cos(5*x); 

Create a 2-D line plot of the cosine curve. Change the line color to a shade of blue-green using an RGB color value. Add a title and axis labels to the graph using the title, xlabel, and ylabel functions.

figure plot(x,y,'Color',[0,0.7,0.9]) title('2-D Line Plot') xlabel('x') ylabel('cos(5x)') 

Define t as seven linearly spaced duration values between 0 and 3 minutes. Plot random data and specify the format of the duration tick marks using the 'DurationTickFormat' name-value pair argument.

t = 0:seconds(30):minutes(3); y = rand(1,7); plot(t,y,'DurationTickFormat','mm:ss') 

Create a figure with two subplots and return the handle to each subplot axes, ax1 and ax1.

figure % new figure ax1 = subplot(2,1,1); % top subplot ax2 = subplot(2,1,2); % bottom subplot 

Create a 2-D line plot in each axes by referring to the axes handles. Add a title and y-axis label to each axes by passing the axes handles to the title and ylabel functions.

x = linspace(0,3); y1 = sin(5*x); y2 = sin(15*x); plot(ax1,x,y1) title(ax1,'Top Subplot') ylabel(ax1,'sin(5x)') plot(ax2,x,y2) title(ax2,'Bottom Subplot') ylabel(ax2,'sin(15x)') 

Define x as 100 linearly spaced values between and . Define y1 and y2 as sine and cosine values of x. Create a line plot of both sets of data and return the two chart lines in p.

x = linspace(-2*pi,2*pi); y1 = sin(x); y2 = cos(x); p = plot(x,y1,x,y2); 

Change the line width of the first line to 2. Add star markers to the second line. Starting in R2014b, you can use dot notation to set properties. If you are using an earlier release, use the set function instead.

p(1).LineWidth = 2; p(2).Marker = '*'; 

Plot a circle centered at the point (4,3) with a radius equal to 2. Use axis equal to use equal data units along each coordinate direction.

r = 2; xc = 4; yc = 3; theta = linspace(0,2*pi); x = r*cos(theta) + xc; y = r*sin(theta) + yc; plot(x,y) axis equal 

## Input Arguments

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y values, specified as a scalar, a vector, or a matrix. To plot against specific x values you must also specify X.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | datetime | duration

x values, specified as a scalar, a vector, or a matrix.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | datetime | duration

Line style, marker, and color, specified as a character vector of symbols. The symbols can appear in any order. You do not need to specify all three characteristics (line style, marker, and color). For example, if you omit the line style and specify the marker, then the plot shows only the marker and no line.

Example: '--or' is a red dashed line with circle markers

Line StyleDescription
-Solid line (default)
--Dashed line
:Dotted line
-.Dash-dot line

MarkerDescription
oCircle
+Plus sign
*Asterisk
.Point
xCross
sSquare
dDiamond
^Upward-pointing triangle
vDownward-pointing triangle
>Right-pointing triangle
<Left-pointing triangle
pPentagram
hHexagram

ColorDescription

y

yellow

m

magenta

c

cyan

r

red

g

green

b

blue

w

white

k

black

Axes in which to plot, specified as an axes object or a polar axes object. If you do not specify the axes and if the current axes are Cartesian axes, then the plot function uses the current axes. To plot into polar axes, specify the polar axes object as the first input argument.

### Name-Value Pair Arguments

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 in any order as Name1,Value1,...,NameN,ValueN.

Example: 'Marker','o','MarkerFaceColor','red'

The chart line properties listed here are only a subset. For a complete list, see Chart Line Properties.

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Line color, specified as an RGB triplet, a character vector of a color name, or 'none'. If you specify the Color as 'none', then the line is invisible.

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]. This table lists the long and short color name options and the equivalent RGB triplet values.

Long NameShort NameRGB Triplet
'yellow''y'[1 1 0]
'magenta''m'[1 0 1]
'cyan''c'[0 1 1]
'red''r'[1 0 0]
'green''g'[0 1 0]
'blue''b'[0 0 1]
'white''w'[1 1 1]
'black''k'[0 0 0]

Example: 'blue'

Example: [0 0 1]

Line style, specified as one of the line styles listed in this table.

Line StyleDescriptionResulting Line
'-'Solid line

'--'Dashed line

':'Dotted line

'-.'Dash-dotted line

'none'No lineNo line

Line width, specified as a positive value in points. If the line has markers, then the line width also affects the marker edges.

Example: 0.75

Marker symbol, specified as one of the markers in this table. By default, a chart line does not have markers. Add markers at each data point along the line by specifying a marker symbol.

ValueDescription
'o'Circle
'+'Plus sign
'*'Asterisk
'.'Point
'x'Cross
'square' or 's'Square
'diamond' or 'd'Diamond
'^'Upward-pointing triangle
'v'Downward-pointing triangle
'>'Right-pointing triangle
'<'Left-pointing triangle
'pentagram' or 'p'Five-pointed star (pentagram)
'hexagram' or 'h'Six-pointed star (hexagram)
'none'No markers

Example: 'Marker','+'

Example: 'Marker','diamond'

Indices of data points at which to display markers, specified as a vector of positive integers. If you do not specify the indices, then MATLAB® displays a marker at every data point.

 Note:   To see the markers, you must also specify a marker symbol.

Example: plot(x,y,'-o,'MarkerIndices',[1 5 10]) displays a circle marker at the first, fifth, and tenth data points.

Example: plot(x,y,'-x','MarkerIndices',1:3:length(y)) displays a cross marker every three data points.

Example: plot(x,y,'Marker','square','MarkerIndices',5) displays one square marker at the fifth data point.

Marker outline color, specified as one of these values:

• 'auto' — Use the same color specified in the Color property.

• 'none' — Use no color, which makes unfilled markers invisible.

• RGB triplet or character vector of a color name — Use the specified color.

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]. This table lists the long and short color name options and the equivalent RGB triplet values.

Long NameShort NameRGB Triplet
'yellow''y'[1 1 0]
'magenta''m'[1 0 1]
'cyan''c'[0 1 1]
'red''r'[1 0 0]
'green''g'[0 1 0]
'blue''b'[0 0 1]
'white''w'[1 1 1]
'black''k'[0 0 0]

Example: [0.5 0.5 0.5]

Example: 'blue'

Marker fill color, specified as one of these values:

• 'none' — Use no color, which makes the interior invisible.

• 'auto' — Use the same color as the Color property for the axes.

• RGB triplet or character vector of a color name — Use the specified color.

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]. This table lists the long and short color name options and the equivalent RGB triplet values.

Long NameShort NameRGB Triplet
'yellow''y'[1 1 0]
'magenta''m'[1 0 1]
'cyan''c'[0 1 1]
'red''r'[1 0 0]
'green''g'[0 1 0]
'blue''b'[0 0 1]
'white''w'[1 1 1]
'black''k'[0 0 0]

Example: [0.3 0.2 0.1]

Example: 'green'

Marker size, specified as a positive value in points.

Example: 10

Format for datetime tick labels, specified as the comma-separated pair consisting of 'DatetimeTickFormat' and a character vector of a date format. Use the letters A-Z and a-z to construct a custom format. These letters correspond to the Unicode® Locale Data Markup Language (LDML) standard for dates. You can include non-ASCII letter characters such as a hyphen, space, or colon to separate the fields.

If you do not specify a value for 'DatetimeTickFormat', then plot automatically optimizes and updates the tick labels based on the axis limits.

Example: 'DatetimeTickFormat','eeee, MMMM d, yyyy HH:mm:ss' displays a date and time such as Saturday, April 19, 2014 21:41:06.

The following table shows several common display formats and examples of the formatted output for the date, Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 9:41:06 PM in New York City.

Value of DatetimeTickFormatExample
'yyyy-MM-dd'2014-04-19
'dd/MM/yyyy'19/04/2014
'dd.MM.yyyy'19.04.2014
'yyyy年 MM月 dd日'2014年 04月 19日
'MMMM d, yyyy'April 19, 2014
'eeee, MMMM d, yyyy HH:mm:ss'Saturday, April 19, 2014 21:41:06
'MMMM d, yyyy HH:mm:ss Z'April 19, 2014 21:41:06 -0400

For a complete list of valid letter identifiers, see the Format property for datetime arrays.

DatetimeTickFormat is not a chart line property. You must set the tick format using the name-value pair argument when creating a plot. Alternatively, set the format using the xtickformat and ytickformat functions.

The TickLabelFormat property of the datetime ruler stores the format.

Format for duration tick labels, specified as the comma-separated pair consisting of 'DurationTickFormat' and a character vector of a duration format.

If you do not specify a value for 'DurationTickFormat', then plot automatically optimizes and updates the tick labels based on the axis limits.

To display a duration as a single number that includes a fractional part, for example, 1.234 hours, specify one of the values in this table.

Value of DurationTickFormatDescription
'y'Number of exact fixed-length years. A fixed-length year is equal to 365.2425 days.
'd'Number of exact fixed-length days. A fixed-length day is equal to 24 hours.
'h'Number of hours
'm'Number of minutes
's'Number of seconds

Example: 'DurationTickFormat','h' displays duration values in terms of fixed-length days.

To display a duration in the form of a digital timer, specify one of these values.

• 'dd:hh:mm:ss'

• 'hh:mm:ss'

• 'mm:ss'

• 'hh:mm'

In addition, you can display up to nine fractional second digits by appending up to nine S characters.

Example: 'DurationTickFormat','hh:mm:ss.SSS' displays the milliseconds of a duration value to three digits.

DurationTickFormat is not a chart line property. You must set the tick format using the name-value pair argument when creating a plot. Alternatively, set the format using the xtickformat and ytickformat functions.

The TickLabelFormat property of the duration ruler stores the format.

## Output Arguments

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One or more chart line objects, returned as a scalar or a vector. These are unique identifiers, which you can use to query and modify properties of a specific chart line. For a list of properties, see Chart Line Properties.

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### Tips

• Use NaN and Inf values to create breaks in the lines. For example, this code plots the first two elements, skips the third element, and draws another line using the last two elements:

plot([1,2,NaN,4,5])

• plot uses colors and line styles based on the ColorOrder and LineStyleOrder properties of the axes. plot cycles through the colors with the first line style. Then, it cycles through the colors again with each additional line style.

You can change the default colors and line styles by setting default values for the ColorOrder and LineStyleOrder properties. For example, to set the default line styles to a solid line with asterisk markers, a dotted line, and circle markers with no line, use this command:

set(groot,'defaultAxesLineStyleOrder',{'-*',':','o'})