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How to plot 17 subplots?

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Ibro Tutic
Ibro Tutic on 29 Jun 2017
Commented: NIKHIL THOPPIL on 16 Aug 2019
I am trying to plot a large number of subplots, but want to make sure formartting is such that it takes the most compact form (instead of having 1 row with 17 plots, 2 rows, with 13 and 14 plots, etc). So in this case, I would like 5 rows of plots with 4 plots in each row and 1 in the last row. If 16 plots are selected, then 4 rows with 4 plots, etc.

  2 Comments

Adam
Adam on 30 Jun 2017
Depending on what you are plotting you are probably better of creating your own axes and positioning them in the desired pattern than using subplot. If you don't want x and y tick labels for every plot subplot creates a lot of wasted space around the axes.
Jan
Jan on 30 Jun 2017
Some explicite examples for Adam's suggestion: FEX: Search for "subplot"
I would like 5 rows of plots with 4 plots in each row and 1 in the last row.
These are 21 plots, not 17. What about 4 rows and 5 columns with two diagrams in the last row for 17 diagrams?

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Accepted Answer

John BG
John BG on 29 Jun 2017
Hi Ibro
let be N the amount of images, then the most compact, square-like lay-out is achieved with
L=ceil(N^.5)
for k=1:1:N
subplot(L,L,k)
plot(..) or stem(..) or any other plot type
end
if you find this answer useful would you please be so kind to consider marking my answer as Accepted Answer?
To any other reader, if you find this answer useful please consider clicking on the thumbs-up vote link
thanks in advance
John BG

  1 Comment

John BG
John BG on 30 Jun 2017
Ibro
the thing with subplot and a large amount if images is that the area for each image is reduced, therefore losing visual resolution.
One way around would be to plot 17 separate figures
for k=1:1:17
hf=figure(k)
plot(..) or stem(..) or any other plot type
hf.Position=[left down width height]
end
Usually top left corner of the screen is [0 0].
capturing the figure handle you can save further space, away from things not needed, to give more space for the images
hf=figure
hf.ToolBar='none'
Another way would be to group the figures in groups of 4, reducing the amount of needed figures to
N=17
for k=1:1:floor(N/4)
figure(k)
for s=1:1:4
subplot(2,2,s)
plot(..) or stem(..) or any other plot type
end
end
for k=(N-floor(N/4)):1:N
figure(k)
for s=1:1:(N-floor(N/4))
subplot(2,2,s)
plot(..) or stem(..) or any other plot type
end
end
regards
John BG

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More Answers (1)

Jan
Jan on 30 Jun 2017
Edited: Jan on 30 Jun 2017
This adds a new row only if required:
N = 17;
figure;
nS = sqrt(N);
nCol = ceil(nS);
nRow = nCol - (nCol * nCol - N > nCol - 1);
for k = 1:N
subplot(nRow, nCol, k);
plot(1:10, rand(1, 10));
end
Comparison to the pure square solution: Saving an empty row helps to get the "most compact form", which is not a 5x5 arrangement:
See also:

  1 Comment

NIKHIL THOPPIL
NIKHIL THOPPIL on 16 Aug 2019
Thank you

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