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Is it possible to viewing the "figure" window on second display?

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I have two displays connected to my PC. Is it possible to define which of to displays will be viewed "figure" window?

Accepted Answer

Jan on 25 Sep 2011
Edited: Jan on 2 Sep 2020
You could create a function, which open figures on the 2nd monitor if it is available, otherwise the 1st monitor is used:
% [EDITED, 2018-06-05, typos fixed]
function FigHandle = figure2(varargin)
MP = get(0, 'MonitorPositions');
if size(MP, 1) == 1 % Single monitor
FigH = figure(varargin{:});
else % Multiple monitors
% Catch creation of figure with disabled visibility:
indexVisible = find(strncmpi(varargin(1:2:end), 'Vis', 3));
if ~isempty(indexVisible)
paramVisible = varargin(indexVisible(end) + 1);
paramVisible = get(0, 'DefaultFigureVisible');
Shift = MP(2, 1:2);
FigH = figure(varargin{:}, 'Visible', 'off');
set(FigH, 'Units', 'pixels');
pos = get(FigH, 'Position');
pause(0.02); % See Stefan Glasauer's comment
set(FigH, 'Position', [pos(1:2) + Shift, pos(3:4)], ...
'Visible', paramVisible);
if nargout ~= 0
FigHandle = FigH;
Another tool to move a (visible) figure to another monitor - under Windows only: FEX: WindowAPI
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 3 Sep 2021
varargin allows you to receive a variable number of function arguments by using cell array syntax.

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More Answers (3)

the cyclist
the cyclist on 24 Sep 2011
Yes, effectively. One way to do it is by defining the 'Position' property of the figure. If you create your figure, then type
>> get(gcf)
You will see the current properties of the figure, including the Position property. You can then set that position to be whatever you want, e.g.
>> set(gcf,'Position',[500 500 400 300])
The arrangement of your second display will determine where you need to "push" the figure to. For example, with my setup, I actually had to make the x-position (first value in the vector) a negative value to push it onto my second display.
Jonatan Dias
Jonatan Dias on 25 Sep 2017
Thank you very much for your answer.
Extremely easy!
Regards, Jonatan.
Guillaume Baptist
Guillaume Baptist on 14 Jul 2022
Thanks, it perfectly works for me too. Very easy.

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thalia on 17 Sep 2019
Edited: dpb on 28 Feb 2022
Simplifying Adan's script...
close all
%place it wherever you want in the 1st monitor
%check units
%retreive location info
pos1 = f.Position
close all
%place it wherever you want in the 1st monitor
pos2 = f.Position
close all
%Evaluate the following code or add it in the startup.m for permanent settings
%in case you want to add it permanently, replace the pos1,2 with the values (hard-coded)
MP = get(0, 'MonitorPositions');
if size(MP, 1) == 1 % 1 monitor
set(0, 'defaultFigureUnits', 'normalized','defaultFigurePosition', pos1)
else %2nd monitor
set(0, 'defaultFigureUnits', 'normalized','defaultFigurePosition', pos2)

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 24 Sep 2011
Take your pick of answers:
  1. Yes, but you would not like the result; OR
  2. No, but you can make it work fairly well
The respective methods:
1. set(0,'DefaultFigurePosition', [x y w h])
where x, y, w, and h are fixed x and y coordinates and w and h are fixed width and height. You can work out the coordinates to use by examining
which is documented over here.
The reason you probably wouldn't like this is that all figures will appear at that exact position and size (on top of whatever was there before) unless the code overrides the position. And there are a bunch of things that are actually figures. Including all GUI elements and including all dialog boxes.
2. Instead of setting the default figure position for everything, either right when you create the figure or right afterwards, set its Position property to be where you want it (and the size you want) on the second monitor, having used the MonitorPositions root property to find the proper range.
Warning Either way, it is not possible to getframe() a figure that is on the second monitor. This may affect your ability to saveas() or print(). Some routines detect the situation and temporarily move the figure on to the main screen and move it back afterwards, but other routines just complain.
Daniel Shub
Daniel Shub on 25 Sep 2011
hgrc is called by matlabrc. You are correct that it doesn't appear documented. My figures, both in Linux and Windows appear on top of each other in the exact position and size. Most dialog boxes, and I cannot think of any that don't, take on a different size, and often a different position. Often they are located in about the center of the screen. My guess is if you change the default figure position to the second monitor some of the the dialog boxes would follow, but not all.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 25 Sep 2011
Unfortunately I cannot test dual monitors.
There is a private function used by the dialog boxes, something about "getnicedialogposition"; my access to my server is down again today so I cannot read the source at this time.

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