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Can I force Matlab to not place new figures on top?

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Micke Malmström
Micke Malmström on 4 May 2018
Commented: Sean Phillips on 6 May 2019
I have some scripts that plots graphs and exports them with export_fig(...). the figures always pops up to "stay on top". Can i force Matlab to not place the new figures on top of other programs so that I can for example work in "MS Word" while the script runns in Matlab in the background?
(Note I have to use create new figuree and I dont want to use plot(axishandle,...) because I use functions I cannot edit.)

Answers (3)

Ameer Hamza
Ameer Hamza on 4 May 2018
Edited: Ameer Hamza on 4 May 2018
You can set the Visible property of figure object as 'off' at time of creation. They will not appear automatically
f = figure('Visible', 'off');
and then see them at the end using
f.Visible = 'on'; % or set(f, 'Visible', 'on');
For further details refer my answer to a similar question . You may find some useful information in the comments
  1 Comment
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 4 May 2018
The difficulty with this is that the user is using functions they cannot edit.

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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 4 May 2018
No, unfortunately when figure() is used to activate a figure or to create a new figure, it is always going to be raised to the top.
Sometimes you can get away with
set(0, 'DefaultFigureVisible', 'off')
but that probably would not work with export_fig.
Sometimes you can get away with running MATLAB with -nodesktop and doing the graphing and saving without the graphs being enabled. That can depend upon the graphics features you use and upon the kind of file you are saving to.
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Sean Phillips
Sean Phillips on 6 May 2019
Edited: Sean Phillips on 6 May 2019
if you have dual monitor
  1. set your "side" monitor as the primary display under display properties in your OS
  2. run MATLAB in the "side" monitor and then run your scripts which may involve full figures popping up etc.
  3. do your other work on your second monitor (in my case my central large monitor). I will open Word, or web browsing or even undocked editor from MATLAB in my central monitor and it will remain on top and the focus will remain on that window at all times while MATLAB is running fullscreen popups in the "side" monitor.
This is what i do when i am creating structs in loops where i use framegrabber on fullscreen figures.
works on Win10 with triple monitors
  1 Comment
Sean Phillips
Sean Phillips on 6 May 2019
you can also undock the command window and drag into another monitor while the primary display runs MATLAB with fullscreen figure pop-ups. This is useful for terminating the script while its running without having to get to the command window "underneath" the fullscreen figures while the script runs

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