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Using Graphics Smoothing

This example shows how to use graphics and font smoothing in MATLAB plots.

What is Graphics Smoothing?

Graphics smoothing improves the appearance of graphics in plots. Smoothing removes jagged edges that result from using pixels or dots to represent continuous objects. Techniques used for graphics smoothing include multi-sampling and anti-aliasing.

Graphics Smoothing in a Figure

Graphics smoothing is controlled in a figure by using the GraphicsSmoothing property. By default, the GraphicsSmoothing property is set to 'on'.

f = figure;
surf(peaks)

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type surface.

You can turn off graphics smoothing by setting the GraphicsSmoothing property to 'off'.

f.GraphicsSmoothing = 'off';

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type surface.

Font Smoothing for Text and Axes Objects

The FontSmoothing property of a text or an axes object controls how text is rendered. When FontSmoothing is set to 'on', text will be drawn with smoothed edges. Font smoothing is 'on' by default.

t = text(14,27,-8.5, 'Minimum of Peaks');

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains 2 objects of type surface, text.

t.FontSmoothing = 'off';

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains 2 objects of type surface, text.

Why Turn Graphics Smoothing Off?

Without graphics smoothing, horizontal and vertical lines will appear sharper. Certain chart types may look better when graphics smoothing is turned off. Similarly, turning off font smoothing may make text using small fonts appear clearer.

pcolor(rand(6))

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type surface.

ax = gca;                       % get current axes          
ax.FontSmoothing = 'off';       % turn off axes font smoothing

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type surface.

f.GraphicsSmoothing = 'off';    % turn off figure graphics smoothing