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How do you save a figure with a trasparent background?

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How do you save a figure with a trasparent background? I want to save a figure as a png image that has a transparent background so I can put the image into PowerPoint and the PowerPoint graphic will show through the Matlab figure.

Answers (3)

jonas
jonas on 2 Mar 2018
Edited: Stephen23 on 14 Mar 2018
The most recent version of export_fig includes a -transparent option for .png export
  4 Comments
Ron Beck
Ron Beck on 5 Mar 2018
Thanks for the response, but neither worked. Is it critical where I put the lines of code?
jonas
jonas on 14 Mar 2018
Sorry for the late response. If you did not solve it already perhaps you can upload the code and I will have a look.
The first option calls the current axis (gca), so it should be located after the figure. The other option should be at the beginning of the code.

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cui,xingxing
cui,xingxing on 30 Aug 2021
since Matlab R2020a, use "exportgraphics", for example ,you can do like this
x = 0:.1:2*pi;
y = sin(x);
% save to transparented image
figure;
plot(x,y,'LineWidth',4);
set(gcf, 'color', 'none');
set(gca, 'color', 'none');
exportgraphics(gcf,'transparent.eps',... % since R2020a
'ContentType','vector',...
'BackgroundColor','none')
  2 Comments
Niklas Kurz
Niklas Kurz on 10 Oct 2022
Awesome, thank you for providing this information!
Darcy Cordell
Darcy Cordell on 21 Jun 2023
Does this also work for png format? Doesn't seem to work for me...

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Subba Reddy
Subba Reddy on 22 Jan 2020
Non matlab way, Can use gimp software to remove white background from image, by selecting the background with color select tool, invert selection and copy. Then create new gimp window with background option as tranperancy, and paste it into that and export that as png. Not programmable but can be used to prepare images for presentation.
  2 Comments
James Van Zandt
James Van Zandt on 22 May 2023
is it no longer supported?
pdf
Warning: Background transparency is not supported; using white instead.
png
Warning: Background transparency is not supported; using white instead.
eps
Warning: Background transparency is not supported; using white instead.
>> ver
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MATLAB Version: 9.9.0.1467703 (R2020b)
James Van Zandt
James Van Zandt on 22 May 2023
Pardon - I was commenting on a previous suggestion. Here's the relevant code:
fprintf('pdf\n'); exportgraphics(gca,'l16.pdf','BackgroundColor','none');
fprintf('png\n'); exportgraphics(gca,'l16.png','BackgroundColor','none');
fprintf('eps\n'); exportgraphics(gca,'l16.eps','BackgroundColor','none');

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