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Text Properties

Legend text appearance and behavior

Legend text properties control the appearance and behavior of the legend title. By changing property values, you can modify certain aspects of the title. Use dot notation to refer to a particular object and property:

l = legend('show');
l.Title.String = 'My Title';
l.Title.Color = 'red';
c = l.Title.Color

Text

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Text to display as title, specified as a character array, string array, cell array, categorical array, or numeric value.

Example: 'my title'

Example: string('my title')

Example: {'first line','second line'}

Example: 123

To include numeric variables with text in a title, use the num2str function. For example:

x = 42;
str = ['The value is ',num2str(x)];

To include special characters, such as superscripts, subscripts, Greek letters, or mathematical symbols, use TeX markup. For a list of supported markup, see the Interpreter property.

To create multiline titles:

  • Use a string array, where each element contains a line of text, such as string({'line one','line two'}).

  • Use a cell array where each cell contains a line of text, such as {'first line','second line'}.

  • Use a character array where each row contains a line of text, such as ['abc'; 'ab ']. If you use this technique, each row must contain the same number of characters.

  • Use sprintf to create text with a new line character, such as sprintf('first line \n second line').

Numeric titles are converted to text using sprintf('%g',value). For example, 12345678 displays as 1.23457e+07.

Note

  • The words default, factory, and remove are reserved words that will not appear in a title when quoted as a normal character vector. To display any of these words individually, precede them with a backslash, such as '\default' or '\remove'.

  • If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB® uses the values in the array, not the categories.

Interpretation of text characters, specified as one of these values:

  • 'tex' — Interpret characters using a subset of TeX markup.

  • 'latex' — Interpret characters using LaTeX markup.

  • 'none' — Display literal characters.

TeX Markup

By default, MATLAB supports a subset of TeX markup. Use TeX markup to add superscripts and subscripts, modify the font type and color, and include special characters in the text.

Modifiers remain in effect until the end of the text. Superscripts and subscripts are an exception because they modify only the next character or the characters within the curly braces. When you set the Interpreter property to 'tex', the supported modifiers are as follows.

ModifierDescriptionExample
^{ }Superscript'text^{superscript}'
_{ }Subscript'text_{subscript}'
\bfBold font'\bf text'
\itItalic font'\it text'
\slOblique font (usually the same as italic font)'\sl text'
\rmNormal font'\rm text'
\fontname{specifier}Font name — Replace specifier with the name of a font family. You can use this in combination with other modifiers.'\fontname{Courier} text'
\fontsize{specifier}Font size —Replace specifier with a numeric scalar value in point units.'\fontsize{15} text'
\color{specifier}Font color — Replace specifier with one of these colors: red, green, yellow, magenta, blue, black, white, gray, darkGreen, orange, or lightBlue.'\color{magenta} text'
\color[rgb]{specifier}Custom font color — Replace specifier with a three-element RGB triplet.'\color[rgb]{0,0.5,0.5} text'

This table lists the supported special characters with the Interpreter property set to 'tex'.

Character SequenceSymbolCharacter SequenceSymbolCharacter SequenceSymbol

\alpha

α

\upsilon

υ

\sim

~

\angle

\phi

\leq

\ast

*

\chi

χ

\infty

\beta

β

\psi

ψ

\clubsuit

\gamma

γ

\omega

ω

\diamondsuit

\delta

δ

\Gamma

Γ

\heartsuit

\epsilon

ϵ

\Delta

Δ

\spadesuit

\zeta

ζ

\Theta

Θ

\leftrightarrow

\eta

η

\Lambda

Λ

\leftarrow

\theta

θ

\Xi

Ξ

\Leftarrow

\vartheta

ϑ

\Pi

Π

\uparrow

\iota

ι

\Sigma

Σ

\rightarrow

\kappa

κ

\Upsilon

ϒ

\Rightarrow

\lambda

λ

\Phi

Φ

\downarrow

\mu

µ

\Psi

Ψ

\circ

º

\nu

ν

\Omega

Ω

\pm

±

\xi

ξ

\forall

\geq

\pi

π

\exists

\propto

\rho

ρ

\ni

\partial

\sigma

σ

\cong

\bullet

\varsigma

ς

\approx

\div

÷

\tau

τ

\Re

\neq

\equiv

\oplus

\aleph

\Im

\cup

\wp

\otimes

\subseteq

\oslash

\cap

\in

\supseteq

\supset

\lceil

\subset

\int

\cdot

·

\o

ο

\rfloor

\neg

¬

\nabla

\lfloor

\times

x

\ldots

...

\perp

\surd

\prime

´

\wedge

\varpi

ϖ

\0

\rceil

\rangle

\mid

|

\vee

\langle

\copyright

©

LaTeX Markup

To use LaTeX markup, set the Interpreter property to 'latex'. Use dollar symbols around the text, for example, use '$\int_1^{20} x^2 dx$' for inline mode or '$$\int_1^{20} x^2 dx$$' for display mode.

The displayed text uses the default LaTeX font style. The FontName, FontWeight, and FontAngle properties do not have an effect. To change the font style, use LaTeX markup.

The maximum size of the text that you can use with the LaTeX interpreter is 1200 characters. For multiline text, this reduces by about 10 characters per line.

For more information about the LaTeX system, see The LaTeX Project website at https://www.latex-project.org/.

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

  • 'auto' — Use the same value as the Interpreter property for the associated Legend object.

  • 'manual' — Use a value of Interpreter that you specify. To specify the value, set the Interpreter property. When you set the Interpreter property, the InterpreterMode property changes to 'manual'.

Font Style and Appearance

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Text color, specified as an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. The default value of [0 0 0] corresponds to black.

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'

Example: 'blue'

Example: [0 0 1]

Example: '#0000FF'

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

  • 'auto' — Use the same value as the TextColor property for the associated Legend object.

  • 'manual' — Use a value of Color that you specify. To specify the value, set the Color property. When you set the Color property, the ColorMode property changes to 'manual'.

Character slant, specified as 'normal' or 'italic'.

Not all fonts have both font styles. Therefore, the italic font might look the same as the normal font.

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

  • 'auto' — Use the same value as the FontAngle property for the associated Legend object.

  • 'manual' — Use a value of FontAngle that you specify. To specify the value, set the FontAngle property. When you set the FontAngle property, the FontAngleMode property changes to 'manual'.

Font name, specified as a supported font name or 'FixedWidth'. To display and print text properly, you must choose a font that your system supports. The default font depends on your operating system and locale.

To use a fixed-width font that looks good in any locale, use 'FixedWidth'. The fixed-width font relies on the root FixedWidthFontName property. Setting the root FixedWidthFontName property causes an immediate update of the display to use the new font.

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

  • 'auto' — Use the same value as the FontName property for the associated Legend object.

  • 'manual' — Use a value of FontName that you specify. To specify the value, set the FontName property. When you set the FontName property, the FontNameMode property changes to 'manual'.

Font size, specified as a scalar value greater than zero in point units. The default font size depends on the specific operating system and locale.

If you change the axes font size, then MATLAB automatically sets the font size of the colorbar to 90% of the axes font size. If you manually set the font size of the colorbar, then changing the axes font size does not affect the colorbar font.

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

  • 'auto' — Use the same value as the FontSize property for the associated Legend object.

  • 'manual' — Use a value of FontSize that you specify. To specify the value, set the FontSize property. When you set the FontSize property, the FontSizeMode property changes to 'manual'.

Character thickness, specified as 'normal' or 'bold'.

MATLAB uses the FontWeight property to select a font from those available on your system. Not all fonts have a bold weight. Therefore, specifying a bold font weight can still result in the normal font weight.

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

  • 'auto' — Use the same value as the FontWeight property for the associated Legend object.

  • 'manual' — Use a value of FontWeight that you specify. To specify the value, set the FontWeight property. When you set the FontWeight property, the FontWeightMode property changes to 'manual'.

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.

See Also

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Introduced in R2016a