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Contour Properties

Contour chart appearance and behavior

Contour properties control the appearance and behavior of Contour objects. By changing property values, you can modify certain aspects of the contour chart.

Starting in R2014b, you can use dot notation to query and set properties.

[C,h] = contour(...);
w = h.LineWidth;
h.LineWidth = 2;

If you are using an earlier release, use the get and set functions instead.

Levels

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Contour levels, specified as a vector of z values. By default, the contour function chooses values that span the range of values in the ZData property.

Setting this property sets the associated mode property to manual.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64

Selection mode for the LevelList, specified as one of these values:

  • 'auto' — Determine the values based on the ZData values.

  • 'manual' — Use manually specified values. To specify the values, set the LevelList property. When the mode is manual, the contour function does not change the values as you change ZData.

Spacing between contour lines, specified as a scalar numeric value. For example, specify a value of 2 to draw contour lines at increments of 2. The contour function determines the contour interval based on the ZData values.

Setting this property sets the associated mode property to manual.

Example: 3.4

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64

Selection mode for the LevelStep, specified as one of these values:

  • 'auto' — Determine the value based on the ZData values.

  • 'manual' — Use a manually specified value. To specify the value, set the LevelStep property. When the mode is manual, the contour function does not change the value as you change ZData.

Color and Styling

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Fill between contour lines, specified as one of these values:

  • 'off' — Do not fill the spaces between contour lines with a color. This is the default value when you create the contour chart using the contour or contour3 functions.

  • 'on' — Fill the spaces between contour lines with color. This is the default value when you create the contour chart using the contourf function.

Color of contour lines, specified as 'flat', an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. To use a different color for each contour line, specify 'flat'. The colors are determined by the contour value of the line, the colormap, and the scaling of data values into the colormap. For more information on color scaling, see caxis.

To use the same color for all contour lines, specify an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB® uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Line style, specified as one of the options listed in this table.

Line StyleDescriptionResulting Line
'-'Solid line

'--'Dashed line

':'Dotted line

'-.'Dash-dotted line

'none'No lineNo line

Contour line width, specified as a positive value in points. One point equals 1/72 inch.

Labels

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Contour line labels, specified as one of these values:

  • 'off' — Do not label the contour lines.

  • 'on' — Display the height values along the contour lines.

Label spacing along the contour lines, specified as a scalar value in points, where one point is 1/72 inch. Use this property to control the number of contour labels along the contour lines. Smaller values produce more labels.

You must set the ShowText property to 'on' for the LabelSpacing property to have an effect.

If you use the clabel function to display the labels, then the LabelSpacing property has no effect and the plot displays one label per line.

Interval between labeled contour lines, specified as a scalar numeric value. By default, the contour plot includes a label for every contour line when the ShowText property is set to 'on'.

Setting this property sets the associated mode property to manual.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64

Selection mode for the TextStep, specified as one of these values:

  • 'auto' — Determine value based on the ZData values. If the ShowText property is set to 'on', then the contour function labels every contour line.

  • 'manual' — Use a manually specified value. To specify the value, set the TextStep property.

Contour lines to label, specified as a vector of real values.

Setting this property sets the associated mode property to manual.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64

Selection mode for the TextList, specified as one of these values:

  • 'auto' — Use values equal to the values of the LevelList property. The contour plot includes a text label for each line.

  • 'manual' — Use manually specified values. Specify the values by setting the TextList property.

Data

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This property is read-only.

Contour matrix, returned as two-row matrix. This matrix contains the contour levels (heights) and the coordinates of the vertices at each level. The data is arranged sequentially in n sets of columns for n contour lines:

  • The first column in each set contains the contour level and the number of vertices at that level. The top number is the contour level, and the bottom number is the number of vertices.

  • Subsequent columns in the set are the (x, y) coordinates of the vertices. Each column represents an ordered pair. The top number is the x-coordinate, and the bottom number is the y-coordinate.

For example, here are the first few columns of the contour matrix M = contour(peaks(3)):

x values, specified as a vector or matrix.

  • If XData is a vector, then length(XData) must equal size(ZData,2) and YData must also be a vector. The XData values must be strictly increasing or strictly decreasing and cannot contain any duplicates.

  • If XData is a matrix, then size(XData) and size(YData) must equal size(ZData). Typically, you should set the XData values so that the columns are strictly increasing or strictly decreasing and the rows are uniform (or the rows are strictly increasing or strictly decreasing and the columns are uniform).

Setting this property sets the associated mode property to manual.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | logical

Selection mode for the XData, specified as one of these values:

  • 'auto' — Set the XData using the column indices of ZData.

  • 'manual' — Use manually specified values. To specify the values, set the XData property directly, or specify the input argument X to the contour, contourf, or contour3 function.

Variable linked to XData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the XData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the XData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'x'

y values, specified as a vector or matrix.

  • If YData is a vector, then length(YData) must equal size(ZData,1) and XData must also be a vector. The XData values must be strictly increasing or strictly decreasing and cannot contain any duplicates.

  • If YData is a matrix, then size(XData) and size(YData) must equal size(ZData). Typically, you should set the YData values so that the columns are strictly increasing or strictly decreasing and the rows are uniform (or the rows are strictly increasing or strictly decreasing and the columns are uniform).

Setting this property sets the associated mode property to manual.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | logical

Selection mode for the YData, specified as one of these values:

  • 'auto' — Set the YData using the row indices of ZData.

  • 'manual' — Use manually specified values. To specify the values, set the YData property directly, or specify the input argument Y to the contour, contourf, or contour3 function.

Variable linked to YData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the YData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the YData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'y'

Data that defines the surface to contour, specified as a matrix. ZData must be at least a 2-by-2 matrix.

Setting this property sets the associated mode property to manual.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64

Variable linked to ZData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the ZData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the ZData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'z'

Legend

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Legend label, specified as a character vector or string scalar. The legend does not display until you call the legend command. If you do not specify the text, then legend sets the label using the form 'dataN'.

This property is read-only.

Control for including or excluding the object from a legend, returned as an Annotation object. Set the underlying IconDisplayStyle property to one of these values:

  • 'on' — Include the object in the legend (default).

  • 'off' — Do not include the object in the legend.

For example, to exclude a graphics object, go, from the legend set the IconDisplayStyle property to 'off'.

go.Annotation.LegendInformation.IconDisplayStyle = 'off';

Alternatively, you can control the items in a legend using the legend function. Specify the first input argument as a vector of the graphics objects to include. If you do not specify an existing graphics object in the first input argument, then it does not appear in the legend. However, graphics objects added to the axes after the legend is created do appear in the legend. Consider creating the legend after creating all the plots to avoid extra items.

Interactivity

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State of visibility, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Display the object.

  • 'off' — Hide the object without deleting it. You still can access the properties of an invisible object.

Context menu, specified as a ContextMenu object. Use this property to display a context menu when you right-click the object. Create the context menu using the uicontextmenu function.

Note

If the PickableParts property is set to 'none' or if the HitTest property is set to 'off', then the context menu does not appear.

Selection state, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Selected. If you click the object when in plot edit mode, then MATLAB sets its Selected property to 'on'. If the SelectionHighlight property also is set to 'on', then MATLAB displays selection handles around the object.

  • 'off' — Not selected.

Display of selection handles when selected, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Display selection handles when the Selected property is set to 'on'.

  • 'off' — Never display selection handles, even when the Selected property is set to 'on'.

Clipping of the object to the axes limits, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Do not display parts of the object that are outside the axes limits.

  • 'off' — Display the entire object, even if parts of it appear outside the axes limits. Parts of the object might appear outside the axes limits if you create a plot, set hold on, freeze the axis scaling, and then create the object so that it is larger than the original plot.

The Clipping property of the axes that contains the object must be set to 'on'. Otherwise, this property has no effect. For more information about the clipping behavior, see the Clipping property of the axes.

Callbacks

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Mouse-click callback, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle

  • Cell array containing a function handle and additional arguments

  • Character vector that is a valid MATLAB command or function, which is evaluated in the base workspace (not recommended)

Use this property to execute code when you click the object. If you specify this property using a function handle, then MATLAB passes two arguments to the callback function when executing the callback:

  • Clicked object — Access properties of the clicked object from within the callback function.

  • Event data — Empty argument. Replace it with the tilde character (~) in the function definition to indicate that this argument is not used.

For more information on how to use function handles to define callback functions, see Callback Definition.

Note

If the PickableParts property is set to 'none' or if the HitTest property is set to 'off', then this callback does not execute.

Object creation function, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle.

  • Cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • Character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see Callback Definition.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB creates the object. MATLAB initializes all property values before executing the CreateFcn callback. If you do not specify the CreateFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default creation function.

Setting the CreateFcn property on an existing component has no effect.

If you specify this property as a function handle or cell array, you can access the object that is being created using the first argument of the callback function. Otherwise, use the gcbo function to access the object.

Object deletion function, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle.

  • Cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • Character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see Callback Definition.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB deletes the object. MATLAB executes the DeleteFcn callback before destroying the properties of the object. If you do not specify the DeleteFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default deletion function.

If you specify this property as a function handle or cell array, you can access the object that is being deleted using the first argument of the callback function. Otherwise, use the gcbo function to access the object.

Callback Execution Control

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Callback interruption, specified as 'on' or 'off'. The Interruptible property determines if a running callback can be interrupted.

There are two callback states to consider:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

Whenever MATLAB invokes a callback, that callback attempts to interrupt the running callback (if one exists). The Interruptible property of the object owning the running callback determines if interruption is allowed. The Interruptible property has two possible values:

  • 'on' — Allows other callbacks to interrupt the object's callbacks. The interruption occurs at the next point where MATLAB processes the queue, such as when there is a drawnow, figure, uifigure, getframe, waitfor, or pause command.

    • If the running callback contains one of those commands, then MATLAB stops the execution of the callback at that point and executes the interrupting callback. MATLAB resumes executing the running callback when the interrupting callback completes.

    • If the running callback does not contain one of those commands, then MATLAB finishes executing the callback without interruption.

  • 'off' — Blocks all interruption attempts. The BusyAction property of the object owning the interrupting callback determines if the interrupting callback is discarded or put into a queue.

Note

Callback interruption and execution behave differently in these situations:

  • If the interrupting callback is a DeleteFcn, CloseRequestFcn or SizeChangedFcn callback, then the interruption occurs regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • If the running callback is currently executing the waitfor function, then the interruption occurs regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • Timer objects execute according to schedule regardless of the Interruptible property value.

When an interruption occurs, MATLAB does not save the state of properties or the display. For example, the object returned by the gca or gcf command might change when another callback executes.

Callback queuing, specified as 'queue' or 'cancel'. The BusyAction property determines how MATLAB handles the execution of interrupting callbacks. There are two callback states to consider:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

Whenever MATLAB invokes a callback, that callback attempts to interrupt a running callback. The Interruptible property of the object owning the running callback determines if interruption is permitted. If interruption is not permitted, then the BusyAction property of the object owning the interrupting callback determines if it is discarded or put in the queue. These are possible values of the BusyAction property:

  • 'queue' — Puts the interrupting callback in a queue to be processed after the running callback finishes execution.

  • 'cancel' — Does not execute the interrupting callback.

Ability to capture mouse clicks, specified as one of these values:

  • 'visible' — Capture mouse clicks only when visible. The Visible property must be set to 'on'. The HitTest property determines if the Contour object responds to the click or if an ancestor does.

  • 'none' — Cannot capture mouse clicks. Clicking the Contour object passes the click to the object behind it in the current view of the figure window. The HitTest property of the Contour object has no effect.

Response to captured mouse clicks, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Trigger the ButtonDownFcn callback of the Contour object. If you have defined the UIContextMenu property, then invoke the context menu.

  • 'off' — Trigger the callbacks for the nearest ancestor of the Contour object that has one of these:

    • HitTest property set to 'on'

    • PickableParts property set to a value that enables the ancestor to capture mouse clicks

Note

The PickableParts property determines if the Contour object can capture mouse clicks. If it cannot, then the HitTest property has no effect.

This property is read-only.

Deletion status, returned as 'off' or 'on'. MATLAB sets the BeingDeleted property to 'on' when the DeleteFcn callback begins execution. The BeingDeleted property remains set to 'on' until the component object no longer exists.

Check the value of the BeingDeleted property to verify that the object is not about to be deleted before querying or modifying it.

Parent/Child

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Parent, specified as an Axes, Group, or Transform object.

The object has no children. You cannot set this property.

Visibility of the object handle in the Children property of the parent, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Object handle is always visible.

  • 'off' — Object handle is invisible at all times. This option is useful for preventing unintended changes to the UI by another function. Set the HandleVisibility to 'off' to temporarily hide the handle during the execution of that function.

  • 'callback' — Object handle is visible from within callbacks or functions invoked by callbacks, but not from within functions invoked from the command line. This option blocks access to the object at the command line, but permits callback functions to access it.

If the object is not listed in the Children property of the parent, then functions that obtain object handles by searching the object hierarchy or querying handle properties cannot return it. Examples of such functions include the get, findobj, gca, gcf, gco, newplot, cla, clf, and close functions.

Hidden object handles are still valid. Set the root ShowHiddenHandles property to 'on' to list all object handles regardless of their HandleVisibility property setting.

Identifiers

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This property is read-only.

Type of graphics object, returned as 'contour'.

Object identifier, specified as a character vector or string scalar. You can specify a unique Tag value to serve as an identifier for an object. When you need access to the object elsewhere in your code, you can use the findobj function to search for the object based on the Tag value.

User data, specified as any MATLAB array. For example, you can specify a scalar, vector, matrix, cell array, character array, table, or structure. Use this property to store arbitrary data on an object.

If you are working in App Designer, create public or private properties in the app to share data instead of using the UserData property. For more information, see Share Data Within App Designer Apps.

Introduced before R2006a