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Create Healthy Looking Error Bars

5.0 | 5 ratings Rate this file 28 Downloads (last 30 days) File Size: 4.16 KB File ID: #27387 Version: 1.3
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Create Healthy Looking Error Bars



27 Apr 2010 (Updated )

Plots nice error bars as the default. Can also top group plots with error bars.

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% Description errorb(x,y,varargin)
errorb(Y,E) plots Y and draws an error bar at each element of Y. The error bar is a distance of E(i) above and below the curve so that each bar is symmetric and 2*E(i) long. If Y and E are a matrices, errob groups the bars produced by the elements
in each row and plots the error bars in their appropriate place above the bars.

errorb(X,Y,E) plots Y versus X with symmetric error bars 2*E(i) long. X, Y, E must be the same size. When they are vectors, each error bar is a distance of E(i) above and below the point defined by (X(i),Y(i)).

errorb(X,Y,'Parameter','Value',...) see below

% Optional Parameters
   horizontal: will plot the error bars horizontally rather than vertically
   top: plot only the top half of the error bars (or right half for horizontal)
   barwidth: the width of the little hats on the bars (default scales with the data!) barwidth is a scale factor not an absolute value.
   linewidth: the width of the lines the bars are made of (default is 2)
   points: will plot the points as well, in the same colors.
   color: specify a particular color for all the bars to be (default is black, this can be anything like 'blue' or [.5 .5 .5])
   multicolor: will plot all the bars a different color (thanks to my linespecer function)
               colormap: in the case that multicolor is specified, one
                    may also specify a particular colormap to
                    choose the colors from.
% Examples
y=rand(1,5)+1; e=rand(1,5)/4;
hold off; bar(y,'facecolor',[.8 .8 .8]); hold on;

defining x and y
x=linspace(0,2*pi,8); y=sin(x); e=rand(1,8)/4;
hold off; plot(x,y,'k','linewidth',2); hold on;

group plot:
values=abs(rand(2,3))+1; errors=rand(2,3)/1.5+0;

% motivation for the function
It is possible to plot nice error bars on top of a bar plot with Matlab's built in error bar function by setting tons of different parameters to be various things.
This function plots what I would consider to be nice error bars as the default, with no modifications necessary.
It also plots, only the error bars, and in black. There are some very useful abilities that this function has over the matlab one.


Barweb (Ba Rgraph With Error Bars) inspired this file.

This file inspired Grouped Bar Plots With Error Bars and Superbar.

MATLAB release MATLAB 7.8 (R2009a)
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Comments and Ratings (11)
07 Aug 2016 Elisa

Elisa (view profile)

errorb won't work on R2015. The solution is the same as for a similar function :

Would be good to update the code? Nice function otherwise, I've been using it a lot.

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27 May 2014 Katie

Katie (view profile)

19 Nov 2011 Aakash

Aakash (view profile)

How about being able to set transparency of the error bars? That way when I plot horizontal errorbars I can set linewidth to 50 for example, and make the error bar stretch across the whole height, set transparency to 0.5 (so I can still see my data bars).

This is useful for showing std() fro

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03 Nov 2011 Aakash

Aakash (view profile)

Really nice job!
Now I don't know where to read a changelog or anything but I had this problem that the legend wouldn't show the right colors for the line plots overlaid on the bar plot.

I just updated my errorb.m from here and it works now! Great job keeping this up to date.

Thank you.

21 Oct 2011 Jonathan C. Lansey

Thank you Math Moose! I have implemented your suggestion.

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24 Jul 2011 MathMoose

Thanks, works nice, except that it adds legend entries for all the error bar lines. You should set
for all of the error bar plot handles.

Also, you should change the "All rights reserved" in the errorb.m comments to the BSD license.

12 Jul 2011 abogaard

abogaard (view profile)

14 Oct 2010 Supratim Gupta

Thanks for providing this program. This is very useful. It helped me a lot to represent my data

12 Aug 2010 Jonathan C. Lansey

It should work fine for a logarithmic vertical axis.

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05 Aug 2010 Oscar

Oscar (view profile)

The error bars over the bar graphs are indeed simple to create and nice for publications. Would you consider fixing Matlab's bar function to allow a logarithmic vertical axis?

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26 May 2010 Rob Campbell

Rob Campbell (view profile)

Often bar charts hide useful information. The option to overlay the jittered raw data over each bar would be useful.

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29 Apr 2010 1.1

The linspecer function is now included.

25 May 2010 1.2

Changed the screenshot

20 Oct 2011 1.3

I implemented the suggestions of the most eminent Math Moose.

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