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TeX (LaTeX math mode) symbols in legends and labels in MATLAB figures

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I am plotting some data which includes estimates of some parameters. I want to describe the estimates by using \hat on the parameter symbols. This I have to do in legends and axis labels fields. I could not fix this matter despite some experiments using information from MATLAB help. Any idea, please to fix this problem.
I really appreciate help on this matter which will improve the look of my presentation.

Accepted Answer

Matthew Simoneau
Matthew Simoneau on 30 May 2014
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 28 Apr 2021
By default, MATLAB supports a subset of TeX markup. For a list of supported symbols, see the documentation .
For more symbols, you can use LaTeX markup by setting the Interpreter property to 'latex'. Use dollar symbols around the text. For example:
If you are using the legend function in R2018a or earlier, you must specify the labels as a cell array to distinguish the labels from the name-value pairs. In R2018b and later, the cell array is not needed.
legend({'$\hat{\psi}$'},'Interpreter','latex') % R2018a and earlier
legend('$\hat{\psi}$','Interpreter','latex') % R2018b and later
When you use LaTeX markup, the displayed text uses the default LaTeX font style. The FontName, FontWeight, and FontAngle properties no longer have an effect. To change the font style, use LaTeX markup instead.
For more information on using LaTeX in plot titles, labels, and legends, refer to the following example:
SOURAV KUMAR on 29 Mar 2021
You should use the following syntax for legend() :
It works on my system (Matlab R2013a),
check on yours
Bokang Zhou
Bokang Zhou on 14 Aug 2021
Thank you for your answer, but how do I use two different interpreters in the same label line?
For example:
If I use 'latex', I get the desired symbol \varphi but can't get the font of words in Time New Roman.
xlabel('Power factor angle, $\varphi$','Interpreter','latex')
If I use 'tex', I get the desired font of words in Time New Roman, but can't get the symbol \varphi since 'tex' does not support \varphi.
xlabel('Power factor angle, \phi','Interpreter','tex')
So I wonder if there is a way to have normal font of words and 'latex' font of symbol in one label line.

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More Answers (6)

Mikhail Smirnov
Mikhail Smirnov on 10 Feb 2017
You can do like this
leg1 = legend('$\bar{x}$','$\tilde{x}$','$\hat{x}$');
works well
Mario on 17 Apr 2023
Unfortunately this doesn't work for me.
I am tried using annotations and legends to write v_{mean on} as v_on to save figure space.
I tried several things:
lgd = legend{'on', 'off', '$$\bar{\itv}$$_{on}', 'v_{mean off}'}
lgd = legend{'on', 'off', '$\bar{\itv}$_{on}', 'v_{mean off}'}
lgd = legend{'on', 'off', '$\bar{v}$_{on}', 'v_{mean off}'}
lgd = legend{'on', 'off', ['$\bar{v}$','_{on}'], 'v_{mean off}'}
lgd = legend{'on', 'off', '$$\overline{\itv}$$_{on}', 'v_{mean off}'}
lgd = legend{'on', 'off', '$\overline{\itv}$_{on}', 'v_{mean off}'}
lgd = legend{'on', 'off', '$\overline{v}$_{on}', 'v_{mean off}'}
lgd = legend{'on', 'off', ['$\overline{\itv}$','_{on}'], 'v_{mean off}'}
won't work.
It would just add the $$\overline... to the legend text.
I tried both latex and tex interpreter.
I am using MATLAB v 2018b
Mario on 17 Apr 2023
Edited: Mario on 17 Apr 2023
I figured it out:
lgd = legend('on','off', '$\overline{v}_{on}$', '$\overline{v}_{off}$')
But now my font is not Calibri anymore. it's rather looking like Times New Roman or sth.
set(lgd, 'interpreter', 'latex', 'FontName', 'Calibri')
won't help :(
is there a problem with Calibri + Latex?

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Frederik van der Walt
Frederik van der Walt on 4 Apr 2012
Edited: KSSV on 26 May 2022
l= legend(['$\hat{\psi}$']);

Steven on 22 Nov 2011
Try with Latex interpreter, something like
title(['$ latex $'],'interpreter','latex')
Shah on 22 Nov 2011
Thanks Steven but its not working here. I am using MATLAB 7.9.0.
I wrote legend(['$\hat{\psi}$'],'interpreter','latex') but got a warning: Unable to interpret TeX string '$\hat{\psi}$'interpreterlatex'. Same appear in the legend field.

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Shah on 23 Nov 2011
......... Its done! Actually, the default interpreter in MATLAB for legend is 'tex', I guess. It is not changed from the code line. What I had to do was to right click on the legend in the figure window and then changed the 'interpreter' from 'tex' to 'latex'. This action changed the latex statement in the legend field to Math mode.
Cheers Shah

Jordan Brel Ngako Kadji
Jordan Brel Ngako Kadji on 7 May 2020
Once I had this problem, I was writing in German and because the german letter 'ä' was not recognised all the latex commands were ignored.

Richard Ulbricht
Richard Ulbricht on 13 Dec 2022
Put this in front of your plotting commands, if you want it for all plots:

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