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Adam Danz
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New in MATLAB R2022b: GridSizeChangedFcn in TiledChartLayout

Adam Danz on 14 Oct 2022 (Edited on 14 Oct 2022)

New in R2022b: GridSizeChangedFcn
tiledlayout() creates a TiledChartLayout object that defines a gridded layout of axes within a figure. When using the 'flow' option, the grid size becomes dynamic and updates as axes are added or as the figure size changes. These features were introduced in R2019b and if you're still stuck on using subplot, you're missing out on several other great features of tiledlayout.
Starting in MATLAB R2022b you can define a callback function that responds to changes to the grid size in flow arrangements by setting the new gridSizeChangedFcn.
Use case
I often use a global legend to represent data across all axes within a figure. When the figure is tall and narrow, I want the legend to be horizontally oriented at the bottom of the figure but when the figure is short and wide, I prefer a vertically oriented legend on the right of the figure. By using the gridSizeChangedFcn, now I can update the legend location and orientation when the grid size changes.
gridSizeChangeFcn works like all other graphics callback functions. In this demo, I've named the gridSizeChangedFcn "updateLegendLayout", assigned by an anonymous function. The first input is the TiledChartLayout object and the second input is the event object that indicates the old and new grid sizes. The legend handle is also passed into the function. Since all of the tiles contain the same groups of data, the legend is based on data in the last tile.
As long as the legend is valid, the gridSizeChangedFcn updates the location and orientation of the legend so that when the grid is tall, the legend will be horizontal at the bottom of the figure and when the grid is wide, the legend will be vertical at the right of the figure.
Since the new grid size is available as a property in the TiledChartLayout object, I chose not to use the event argument. This way I can directly call the callback function at the end to update the legend without having to create an event.
Run this example from an m-file. Then change the width or height of the figure to demonstrate the legend adjustments.
% Prepare data
data1 = sort(randn(6))*10;
data2 = sort(randn(6))*10;
labels = ["A","B","C","D","E","F"];
groupLabels = categorical(["Control", "Test"]);
% Generate figure
fig = figure;
tcl = tiledlayout(fig, "flow", TileSpacing="compact", Padding="compact");
nTiles = height(data1);
h = gobjects(1,nTiles);
for i = 1:nTiles
ax = nexttile(tcl);
groupedData = [data1(i,:); data2(i,:)];
h = bar(ax,groupLabels, groupedData, "grouped");
title(ax,"condition " + i)
title(tcl,"GridSizeChangedFcn Demo")
legh = legend(h, labels);
% Define and call the GridSizeChangeFcn
tcl.GridSizeChangedFcn = @(tclObj,event)updateLegendLayout(tclObj,event,legh);
% Manually resize the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the figure
function updateLegendLayout(tclObj,~,legh)
% Evoked when the TiledChartLayout grid size changes in flow arrangements.
% tclObj - TiledChartLayout object
% event - (unused in this demo) contains old and new grid size
% legh - legend handle
if isgraphics(legh,'legend')
if tclObj.GridSize(1) > tclObj.GridSize(2)
legh.Layout.Tile = "south";
legh.Orientation = "horizontal";
legh.Layout.Tile = "east";
legh.Orientation = "vertical";
Give it a shot in MATLAB R2022b
  • Replace the legend with a colorbar to update the location and orientation of the colorbar.
  • Define a GridSizeChangedFcn within the loop so that it is called every time a tile is added.
  • Create a figure with many tiles (~20) and dynamically set a color to each row of axes.
  • Assign xlabels only to the bottom row of tiles and ylabels to only the left column of tiles.
Learn about other new features
This article is attached as a live script.

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