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Shade area between two curves

4.6 | 49 ratings Rate this file 142 Downloads (last 30 days) File Size: 1.75 KB File ID: #13188 Version: 1.1
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Shade area between two curves


John Bockstege (view profile)

  • 1 file
  • 4.40816


30 Nov 2006 (Updated )

Function shades the area between two vectors.

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This routine will shade the area of a 2-D plot between two user defined vectors. Simply pass the two vectors, and their corresponding horizontal coordinates, select your fill color and transparency level and viola! You have a figure that is colored in between the two input vectors.


This file inspired Simpsons Rule Demonstration, Sma, Macd, Rsi (Smr) Trading Algorithm, H Coefficient, Gtfill(X,Y1,Y2,N,C1,C2), Fill Between, and Anomaly.

MATLAB release MATLAB 7.3 (R2006b)
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Comments and Ratings (54)
12 Jan 2017 Admin

Admin (view profile)

26 Sep 2016 Felipe Uribe

28 Aug 2016 Kerwin

Kerwin (view profile)

Thanks for the code! I adapted it to add regions of interest so you can shade just particular parts of the two curves (such as statistically different sections), using a logical vector. I also fixed the orientation thing.

%% ADAPTED BY K. OLFERS 28-08-2016

%USAGE: [fillhandle,msg]=jbfill(xpoints,upper,lower,color,edge,add,transparency)
%This function will fill a region with a color between the two vectors provided
%using the Matlab fill command.
%fillhandle is the returned handle to the filled region in the plot.
%xpoints= The horizontal data points (ie frequencies). Note length(Upper)
% must equal Length(lower)and must equal length(xpoints)!
%upper = the upper curve values (data can be less than lower)
%lower = the lower curve values (data can be more than upper)
%roi = a *(logical) vector specifying the areas to be shaded
%color = the color of the filled area
%edge = the color around the edge of the filled area
%add = a flag to add to the current plot or make a new one.
%transparency is a value ranging from 1 for opaque to 0 for invisible for
%the filled color only.
%John A. Bockstege November 2006;
% a=rand(1,20);%Vector of random data
% b=a+2*rand(1,20);%2nd vector of data points;
% x=1:20;%horizontal vector
% [ph,msg]=jbfill(x,a,b,rand(1,3),rand(1,3),0,rand(1,1))
% grid on
% legend('Datr')
if nargin<8;transparency=.5;end %default is to have a transparency of .5
if nargin<7;add=0;end %default is to add to current plot
if nargin<6;edge='k';end %dfault edge color is black
if nargin<5;color='b';end %default color is blue
if nargin<4; roi = ones(length(xpoints),1); end
if ~isrow(lower); lower = lower'; end
if ~isrow(upper); upper = upper'; end
if ~isrow(xpoints); xpoints = xpoints'; end
[clusters cnum] = bwlabeln(roi);

if ~add
add = 1;

for iClust = 1:cnum

iStart = find(clusters==iClust,1);
clength = length(find(clusters == iClust))-1;
tmpUpper = upper(iStart:iStart+clength);
tmpLower = lower(iStart:iStart+clength);
tmpXpoints = xpoints (iStart:iStart+clength);

if length(tmpUpper)==length(tmpLower) && length(tmpLower)==length(tmpXpoints)
if add
hold on
fillhandle=fill(tmpXpoints,filled,color);%plot the data
set(fillhandle,'EdgeColor',edge,'FaceAlpha',transparency,'EdgeAlpha',transparency);%set edge color
if add
hold off
msg='Error: Must use the same number of points in each vector';


Comment only
26 Jul 2016 Stephen Spears

22 Jul 2016 Ele Demaria

Excellent tool! Thank you for sharing it.

Comment only
06 Apr 2016 Andre

Andre (view profile)

That's correct. As Paul pointed out, the input vectors need to be rows. Thanks for the function and thanks Paul for the comment.

06 Apr 2016 Andre

Andre (view profile)

31 Mar 2016 Paul

Paul (view profile)

would be nice if it didn't freak out with column vectors. works well if i transpose my data vectors, but it took me a bit to figure that out. thanks!

19 Aug 2015 Francisco Hernandez

15 Feb 2015 nsc.clone

I applied spline interpolation to fit the curve. In this case, how can I use 'jbfill' function to shade area between two curves.

For example:
x=[0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300];
y=[0 28.23 27.3 20.94 13.89 6.268 2.468 0.1701 0.3704 0.1852 0.1852 0 0 0];
errBar=[0 3.366 4.936 4.969 2.294 2.353 1.568 0.1701 0.3704 0.1852 0.1852 0 0 0];

topcurve = y+errBar;
bottomcurve = y-errBar;

hold on;
hold on;
hold on

Do you have a way to figure this out?

Comment only
10 Sep 2014 Alex Dytso

Alex Dytso (view profile)

01 Aug 2014 Philippe


19 May 2014 Logan

Logan (view profile)

This only works with data input as rows. To allow for column or row vector input, add the following:
if iscolumn(xpoints)
xpoints = xpoints';
upper = upper';
lower = lower';

20 Mar 2014 Philip Ohnewein

26 Jul 2013 Markus Nenniger

looks excellent, but somehow it doesnt save as pdf properly...

20 May 2013 Siddharth

I was using this program but unable to save my figure as jpeg/tif/bmp or copy this figure. This just give a black picture. I do not understand this have anyone came across this before?

07 May 2013 Stefano Gabriele

thanks, very very useful

23 Mar 2013 Enrico

Enrico (view profile)

Very useful function. That really helped!

Thanks a lot!

08 Oct 2012 Allen

Allen (view profile)


02 Oct 2012 Francesco Montorsi

I use this function for plotting confidence intervals... it's very useful, thanks!

10 Sep 2012 Lindsey

04 Feb 2012 Stephan

16 Jan 2012 Vincent

Works great, thanks!

03 Jan 2012 Timothy Kinyanjui

Great function

17 Dec 2011 Javad

Javad (view profile)


Comment only
04 Nov 2011 Clara

Clara (view profile)

Easy to use, and very useful... at least for those of us working in geophysics. Thanks

28 Oct 2011 cehc84

cehc84 (view profile)

29 Jun 2011 Brais

Brais (view profile)

nice function, nice help, straightforward use

18 Feb 2011 Juan

Juan (view profile)


23 Oct 2010 Jakob

Jakob (view profile)

Simple and straight forward! Just what I needed.

30 Sep 2010 Ulrich Sachs

Very nice. But because of the transparancy, Matlab switches to OpenGL, which leads to vanishing axis. To avoid that I just make the axis lines thicker set(gca,'LineWidth',1.0).
Because logarithmic plots do not support OpenGL, you can not draw transparant areas in logarithmic plots.

16 Aug 2010 Grzegorz Knor

Very smart solution.

25 May 2010 Redmond

This function is great, thanks very much. I was hoping to use it to highlight the time-periods for which there was a statistical difference between the two lines. After creating the basic plot, I created a new matrix which specifies the time-points of interest (statistcially significant) in the first column, and the relevant data points for the two lines in the 2nd and 3rd column. I then ran jbfill on this. Unfortunately because the periods of interest are non-contiguous the function fills in the area in between. Is there a way to make it so that it wil only shade in areas at the specific time-points I have specified?

21 Apr 2010 Robert Cumming

Robert Cumming (view profile)

very good, and commented well (does what it says on the tin)

18 Nov 2009 SRG

SRG (view profile)

04 Oct 2009 Matlaboscope

good but row vectors VS column vectors as input does matter.

10 Jun 2009 Andranik Valedi


07 Apr 2009 Ueli Rutishauser

works great,thanks!
the "transparancy" option comes with a caveat: it will switch the renderer to opengl. After that, a vector export is not possible anymore (matlab limitation). set to 1.0 to avoid this problem.

06 Apr 2009 Ueli Rutishauser

11 Feb 2009 ursula larke

thank you!!!! this came in REALLY handy! easy to use, well documented! :)

05 Sep 2008 Luis Concha

Very, very helpful and extremely easy to use. Great for confidence intervals!

06 Aug 2008 Yasser Soliman

Great. This was very helpful and saved me lots of time to figure out the exact work that you've done. Thanks!
On another note, I need a few vector-couples the area between which need to be shadded, on the same plot. How can I incorporate that?

26 May 2008 W. Johns

Good file, but the colour disappears when I switch to a vertical log scale. How can I fix this?

07 May 2008 Ta M

Thanks, exactly what I needed!
Also thanks to Chris: put data in row vectors!

13 Mar 2008 maka mohu

if you make I run the following example, matlab logs me off my user account on SuSe 10.2

for i=1:25
% copy the jbfill.m example from the comments here.

Comment only
20 Feb 2008 W. H. Brave

Very good file, thank you.

06 Feb 2008 M H

lovely function but it is removing box around figure as consequence of transparency.

08 Dec 2007 Housam binous

Great job. Thanks for all.

02 Oct 2007 Luke Taylor

Just what I needed. Thanks!

31 Aug 2007 H W

Exactly what I needed. Thanks for posting!

01 Aug 2007 Marc Ferrer

Wonderful function.

13 Mar 2007 Matthias Brunner

Very nice. Thanks!

19 Jan 2007 Chris Klink

Works great, but apparently only when datapoint are horizontally organized (one row). If it's a column it doesn't work. You could mention this in the file.

11 Dec 2006 Francis Hossmeyer

Great! Solves a common problem.

14 Dec 2012 1.1

Added a retroactive BSD license

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