Main Content

Create Common 2-D Plots

This example shows how to create a variety of 2-D plots in MATLAB®.

Line Plots

The plot function creates simple line plots of x and y values.

x = 0:0.05:5;
y = sin(x.^2);
figure
plot(x,y)

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type line.

Line plots can display multiple sets of x and y data.

y1 = sin(x.^2);
y2 = cos(x.^2);
plot(x,y1,x,y2)

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains 2 objects of type line.

Bar Plots

The bar function creates vertical bar charts. The barh function creates horizontal bar charts.

x = -2.9:0.2:2.9;
y = exp(-x.*x);
bar(x,y)

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type bar.

Stairstep Plots

The stairs function creates a stairstep plot. It can create a stairstep plot of Y values only or a stairstep plot of x and y values.

x = 0:0.25:10;
y = sin(x);
stairs(x,y)

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type stair.

Errorbar Plots

The errorbar function draws a line plot of x and y values and superimposes a vertical error bar on each observation. To specify the size of the error bar, pass an additional input argument to the errorbar function.

x = -2:0.1:2;
y = erf(x);
eb = rand(size(x))/7;
errorbar(x,y,eb)

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type errorbar.

Polar Plots

The polarplot function draws a polar plot of the angle values in theta (in radians) versus the radius values in rho.

theta = 0:0.01:2*pi;                      % angle
rho = abs(sin(2*theta).*cos(2*theta));    % radius
polarplot(theta,rho)

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type line.

Stem Plots

The stem function draws a marker for each x and y value with a vertical line connected to a common baseline.

x = 0:0.1:4;
y = sin(x.^2).*exp(-x);
stem(x,y)

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type stem.

Scatter Plots

The scatter function draws a scatter plot of x and y values.

load patients Height Weight Systolic    % load data
scatter(Height,Weight)                  % scatter plot of Weight vs. Height
xlabel('Height')
ylabel('Weight')

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type scatter.

Use optional arguments to the scatter function to specify the marker size and color. Use the colorbar function to show the color scale on the current axes.

scatter(Height,Weight,20,Systolic)    % color is systolic blood pressure
xlabel('Height')
ylabel('Weight')
colorbar

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type scatter.

Related Topics