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BaFigExPro (v. 2.7)


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BaFigExPro (v. 2.7)



22 Jul 2008 (Updated )

Batch figure export processing with uniform styling.

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The BaFigExPro package provides an automatic method to export Matlab figures, with optional uniform styling. Several input/output folders can be given in a single call. The routine works both for Windows and Linux (tested on Matlab 6.5 and 7.x).

The package is generally used to:

- make uniform figure styling with batch processing. Styling includes font size, marker size, line width, color, legend position, ticks locking and figure dimensions.

- export figures to eps and optionally pdf, jpeg, png and tiff files. By using the eps file as an intermediate file for the other format, the typical huge white blank frame around the figures that Matlab adds when exporting in other formats is not present. The routine can also be used to export with any Matlab print format.

- prepare tex code for figure inclusion.

- automate standard output styles, e.g.:
*article: smaller fonts and line widths
*slides: bigger fonts and line widths

- special features:
*axes size adaptation to follow font size or figure dimension changes
*option to assure that text blocks are kept within the axes boundary
*tight margins around the figure axes
*wide number of options (recursive, subset of files, preview, ...)

UPDATE description

(v. 2):

    * 7.x compliant
    * Automatic (simple) latex code generation option
    * Recursive on folders
    * Reset legend position option
    * Matchcolorbar option (not active for 7.x)
    * Interpolate option for ghostscript added

(v. 2.1)
    * Bug correction

(v. 2.2)
    * 7.x automatic resizing for slides export improved

(v. 2.3)
    * Small bug corrected in formatfig.m
    * 'latexcodeonly' option added

(v. 2.4)
    *'fsubset' option added
    *allow option structure input
    *'eps_renderer' option added
    *color handling redesigned, bw conversion greatly improved
    *'recursive' option more robust

(v. 2.5)
    *fig files having dots in their name are allowed
    *latex interpreter restored if lost at saving
    *'activeposition' and 'marginfactor' options added as resizing parameters
    *'stylemap': behaviour slightly modified to allow unique Matlab style
    *undock figures before formatting if necessary

(v. 2.5.1)
    *bug corrected in latex interpreter restoration

(v. 2.6)
    *improved automatic margin adaptation to avoid label or outsided legend clipping when resizing figure with axes in 'position' mode ('adaptaxes' option).
    *'tight' option to obtain the smallest possible margins.
    *'marginfactor' option extended to allow absolute control on margins. In 6.x versions, it now helps the automatic axes adaptation.
    *'eps_loose' option added to gain control on exported figure width.
    *'customcode' option added to include custom code execution at different locations within the formatting process.
    *'paperunits' option added.
    *'locklimits' option added.
    *'dsubset' option added to select subset of folders. 'fsubset' option now limited to files.
    *fig2public can now be called without any parameter
    *Help headers rewritten

(v. 2.7)
    *default figure styles have been externalized and extended (see presetformat.m). Several options have been added to the 'base_config' parameter. To keep the old defaults, add 'old' to your 'base_config' input.
    *option 'lockaxesaa' has been added to increase robustness of 'tight' margin mode.
    *a few input parameter verifications have been added to help the user.


The package is based on eps2xxx by Primoz Cermelj (slightly modified) and exportfig by Ben Hinkle (greatly modified). After a thorough testing of exportfig, I saw that it was not working fine for many cases that I was needing (e.g. figures with large labels for presentations). So, I nearly rewrote it and added some cool stuff.


Unzip the package and call fig2public. Read the help headers of the different routines! The version log is also useful... In general,

1) generate and store fig files in a folder (be minimalist in terms of format processing, always use command line calls to perform them).

2) call fig2public with the source folder and the output folder as arguments. Add all the options that you need. Many are available. The options of the different subroutines can be given directly to fig2public.

3) enjoy the output. Use the tex files in the output folders to copy-paste inclusion code.

4) you might have to define the path to ghostscript somewhere.

Bugs and "that stuff is useless":

Well, first go to the previous point, notably the "known limitations" in the version log. Then, e-mail me.



Exportfig and Eps2xxx inspired this file.

MATLAB release MATLAB 7.10 (R2010a)
Other requirements Should work for any version of Matlab from 6.x to 7.x. Will work differently in 6.x and 7.x though.
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Comments and Ratings (23)
26 Nov 2013 Johannes

great software! One little problem though:
if I export png with renderer "opengl" and define resolutions like this:

OPTIONS.FontMode = 'fixed';
OPTIONS.FontSize = 7.0;
OPTIONS.width = 15;
OPTIONS.eps_res = 800;
OPTIONS.other_resolution = 800;
OPTIONS.eps_renderer = 'opengl';
OPTIONS.other_formats = {'png'};

the fonts are unfortunately waaay to small. It works ok for the "painters" renderer, but I cant use this one due to FaceAlpha and light.
Apparently the fontsize is only correct in the png, when not defining eps_res.
But I have to set it to 800 to get a decent resolution..
Maybe someone knows what to do?

06 May 2012 yongchang

This is a nice piece of work, very suitable for academic paper.
I strongly recommend it!

16 Apr 2012 Lube F

the above assumes that if you have a 64-bit OS you're using 64-bit Matlab and 64-bit GS. If not then another function is needed since ispc doesn't tell you if the OS is 32 or 64 bit. cheers,

16 Apr 2012 Lube F

Line 99 of eps2xxx.m needs to be changed to:

if ispc
if strcmpi(computer,'PCWIN64')
DEF_GS_PATH = 'gswin64c.exe';
DEF_GS_PATH = 'gswin32c.exe';
DEF_GS_PATH = 'gs';


15 Feb 2012 Deborah  
28 Sep 2011 Lube F

Thanks Jon. yes Lube is my real name. When I get around to processing whichever line plots were causing issues I'll get back to you. Oh wait, I just remembered! If you try plotting a line through some data points so that the point markers are shown as well (i.e. '.-'), then the way the dots are scaled means they are hidden behind the lines. Hence the need to scale the markers manually.

There's also another issue that I was thinking of where the dots from a dotted line (i.e. ':') don't come out square but as rectangles, but i think this is an issue with the eps conversion (i.e. not your fault!).

I also just discovered an issue with the 'painters' eps renderer for surface plots, which is that black lines overlaying the plots seem to get randomly converted to other colours. Probably best to use the openGL renderer for surface plots (you might want to update the header options in fig2public to include opengl.). For the benefit of others I found this article helpful in understanding the difference between the renderers:


28 Sep 2011 Jonathan Rossel

Hi Lube (man, what kind of a name is that? ;-))

Option names
Ok, I see your point now. It's just the help header that is wrong. Use the correct parameter names (as in the parameter structure line 469) to overcome this. I'll update a corrected version when time allows.

Dot scaling:
When dealing with ':' lines, the size parameters are 'linemode', 'linewidth', 'linemin' and 'linemax'. I've done a test and it seems to work correctly ('-' and ':' lines are scaled identically). Send me an example if you still think there is a problem here.

Thanks for your comments!

27 Sep 2011 Lube F

Hi Jonathan,
Thanks for getting back on this. Appreciate that you are busy.
Option names: compare lines 253 with 469 and 470 of formatfig.m, and the same for lines and markers. As it is the string comparison obviously fails. Trivial yet important!
Dot scaling: I was referring to the former i.e. ':'. The dots are incorrectly scaled. I think this is the same problem as discussed here:
When you get a minute please have a go at working out these bugs as this really is the best software package out there for preparing figs for papers!
Thanks for all your work.

29 Jul 2011 Jonathan Rossel

Yep, I am still around, but I don't have much time at the moment. Concerning the last comments:

tiff in black and white:
- I've never tested it, it must be in the gs conversion from eps to tiff. You should check what eps2xxx does. It can be avoided, if really necessary, by avoiding the eps altogether (see the help header of fig2public).

latex interpreter:
- yep, I tried to go around the bug in Matlab as best as I could. It works for simple expressions. For the rest, I guess you have to play around with your figures manually.

simple example:
- there are examples in the help header of fig2public. Please read them before commenting...

Zi-An Li:
Thanks for the comment! I leave the corresponding rating to my general incapacity to understand things.

Option names:
I don't see why.

'dot' scaling:
I am not sure to understand your point. Which kind of lines are you speaking of? A pure line (i.e. ':') or a mixture of marker and line (e.g. '.-'). According to your comment, I have the feeling that you're speaking of the 2nd situation. In that case, it's not a bug. It's just that lines and markers are two different things. You therefore have to set the options for both types individually.


29 Jul 2011 Lube F

Another Bug:
the options for fontsize and markersize in formatfig should be specified as:
'fontmin', 'fontmax' etc. as opposed to 'fontsizemin' and 'fontsizemax'.
Also default behaviour for a 'dotted line' plot causes the dots to be scaled smaller than the lines. Can't figure out why, use 'markermode','scaled','markersize',2 as a work-around.
It seems the author is no longer supporting this, which is a shame as this is an excellent package...
If anyone knows how to get in touch with him, then please do so!

16 May 2011 Shashank Sawant

I want to hold on to rate this, but I can't understand how to use the fig2public file. Can someone help?

By the looks of it, the code looks comprehensive.

21 Apr 2011 Zi-An Li

Very useful and help me a lot. Great work

15 Apr 2011 Zulkifli Hidayat

I have just found this useful package, but I have tried once but failed. Perhaps a simple example in a documentation will help people like me. Thanks

14 Apr 2011 Lube F

Digging a little deeper it turns out this is actually a bug with Matlab to do with the way it draws/resizes figures. I think it is treating the latex-interpreted x-label text box as a Tex-interpreted text box, which has a much smaller vertical extent. See e.g. page 5 here:
Also here:
You can see what is going on if you do set(get(gca,'Xlabel'),'EdgeColor',[0 0 0]) after creating the x-label. In tex format you see the whole box, but in latex the bottom is cut off.

The best workaround I found for this was to place the following code after creating the x-axis label:
set(gca,'Position',get(gca,'Position')+[0 0.01 0 0])
this simply shifts the entire figure up by 1% of the height of the 'OuterPosition' box (explained here:

Sorry for these lengthy posts. I hope they help someone. Author feel free to edit them down. Cheers.

13 Apr 2011 Lube F

I also found another bug which I'm sure the author is aware of:

When using the Latex interpreter for the axes labels the (x-axis) label is, depending on the figure height or axis proportions, very slightly cropped by the bottom edge of the figure. I think what is happening is formatfig is ignoring the interpreter, working out the figure size etc. based on standard text, then re-setting the interpreter at the end. It seems the latex labels are slightly taller than the standard matlab labels and are therefore being cut off. I think this is what the author is referring to in his comment in line 1015 of formatfig.

As a workaround I first used the following piece of custom code, which I set to be executed at the end via the 'bot' option:
customcodestr = [...
'xlabh = get(gca,''XLabel'');',...
'set(xlabh,''Position'',get(xlabh,''Position'') + [0 1 0]);'];

This simply gets the handle of the x-axis label, then using this gets the position, then shifts the vertical position up by 1 y-axis unit.

I then found a simpler workaround:
customcodestr = ['set(get(gca,''XLabel''),''VerticalAlignment'',''middle'')'];
Fortunately the vertical alignment was set to 'Cap' therefore 'middle' bumps it up a bit and 'bottom' by quite a lot.

I then used this in the following command which takes a figure produced using semilogx with completely default format options, and exports it to all formats:


Both of these did the trick in my case where the problematic label was '$f$ [Hz]'.

A better option might be to have the routine check the position relative to 'OuterPosition' and then move it relative to the axis height or distance between the y-coords of 'Position' and 'OuterPosition'. The problem is these axis properties are given in normalised units and not data units like the label.

I haven't yet managed to find a solution to the colour tiff problem yet, and it looks like the author is away?

29 Mar 2011 Lube F

Thanks for this. Really excellent. However when I go to resize a figure and within the figure's directory I enter e.g. fig2public('height',9,'width', 12,'other_formats',{'pdf','tiff'});
the figs in the directory are resized and exported in colour for all the formats except the tiff, which comes out in black and white. Am I missing something?

30 Nov 2010 Jonathan Rossel


Thanks for the feedback. Standard options go back to the very first version and should probably be revisited. When I have time, I'll try to find an elegant solution. The best choice of options depends on the kind of figures (multiple axes, log-scales, etc), the figure usage (reports, articles, presentations, etc) and personal tastes (that's a very long list here...). What I usually do is that I put all the most common options in a structure and I call fig2public on different subsets of figures, giving the common option structure as input and redefining the options particular to a set of figures within the calls themselves. By the way, using the 'tight' option is meaningful only if you also use 'eps_loose', otherwise the exported figures should already be quite tight (but the exact figure dimensions not controlled).

If you find a bug, please let me know. It's always worth reading the help headers though.


30 Nov 2010 Matthew

I like it! Use of the standard options didn't produce something legible, but when I used the second tier suggestions (locktick=true, 'tight', 'x' and linemode=fixed, linewidth=1) I got a beautiful set of figures...thanks for all your hard work!

13 Sep 2010 Jonathan Rossel


Thanks for the feedback. I'll augment the example section of the help header of fig2public for the next release.


11 Sep 2010 Peter

excellent work!!

11 Sep 2010 Peter

hope to see a few examples in the description. It would be easier to use. Thanks!

16 Aug 2010 Jonathan Rossel


Thanks for your interest. Can't remove your ratings myself, sorry. For your question:

All the formatting is done via the function formatfig.m. All its options are reachable directly in the call to fig2public. So, you get the option that you need with:
>>help formatfig
Then you use the 'param_name',param_value input (ie in addition to your other options) to set its value, for example:
>>fig2public( ..., 'linemode','fixed','linewidth',2, ... )

Let me know if I am not clear enough.


04 Aug 2010 Harsha Kasi


I am sorry for 3 ratings here by mistake. Please remove the previous two.

First of all, thank you for the very nice tool. Helps a ton!

How can I explicitly set the parameters such as - "font size, marker size, line width, color and figure dimensions" and not use the default options set for an "article" or "slides" at the execution of the fig2public command ?


24 Mar 2009

The main feature of this update is the compatibility with Matlab 7.x and simple TeX inclusion code generation. For the rest, read below and check the changelog file. Comments and feedback welcome.

14 Apr 2009

2.1 update: corrected a bug in FORMATFIG. (undefined "oldactopos" variable).

14 Apr 2009

2.1 update: corrected a bug in FORMATFIG (undefined variable "oldactpos")

17 Apr 2009

7.x automatic resizing for slides export improved

20 Apr 2009

Small bug corrected in formatfig.m, 'latexcodeonly' option added

25 Jun 2009

(v. 2.4)
    *'fsubset' option added
    *allow option structure input
    *'eps_renderer' option added
    *color handling redesigned, bw conversion greatly improved
    *'recursive' option more robust

21 Dec 2009

See description

11 Jan 2010

bug introduced in last update corrected

11 Nov 2010

Many new options with a special focus on automatic figure margin correction to avoid label or legend clipping. Exportation of figures with tight margins and absolute dimension control is now possible. For the rest, see the description section.

16 Dec 2010

Handling of default figure styles improved and extended. For the rest, see the description section.

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