MATLAB Answers


Where in the axes properties (or elsewhere) is the "pointer" on the next color of ColorOrder ?

Asked by Alexander on 12 Jan 2013

The command

hold all

holds the current line color in the ColorOrder, so that following plot commands continue cycling through it. This seems to be only a feature of high-level-functions like plot. However, there must be a change in the 'axes properties' (besides the 'NextPlot' property), something like a pointer telling the next plot, which color to be used.

My problem is that I use low-level-function 'line' and want to add another line(s) in the next color of ColorOrder. Is there a more simple way to realize this instead of getting the existing line objects color by some functions as get,findobj and then choosing a non-used color for current line, which could not really considered as cycling.



You could create your own custom order and cycle through it.

thanks, but I do not want another ColorOrder. I just want to know where is the axes property, which calls a next plot whether to cycle in that order or reset to the first entry.

In other words: How MATLAB realizes, that 'hold on' reset the ColorOrder and 'hold all' not. And where I can find these difference.

Log in to comment.

3 Answers

Answer by José-Luis
on 12 Jan 2013
Edited by José-Luis
on 12 Jan 2013
 Accepted Answer

Maybe not exactly what you wanted but a workaround:

fH = figure;
aH = axes;
lH = plot(rand(10,1),'r');
your_colors = get(fH,'DefaultAxesColorOrder');
colorIdx = find(ismember(your_colors,get(lH,'Color'),'rows'));
nextColorIdx = mod(colorIdx + 1, size(your_colors,1));
nextColor = your_colors(nextColorIdx,:);

I think creating your own custom color order and cycling through it would be better. The snippet I gave you will not work if the color of the line you plot is not in the default colors.

  1 Comment

Thanks for this code, Jose-Luis. But if I would use plot (instead of line) I also could realize a cycling through the ColorOrder with hold all .

I just thought that there must be a pointer somewhere in the properties which color have to be the next (if hold all was entered). This pointer, or whatever, could then be used for the next line command. (instead of additional code)

But thanks.

Log in to comment.

Answer by Walter Roberson
on 12 Jan 2013

getappdata(gca, 'PlotColorIndex')

When it is non-empty, it is the index of the next color to plot.


I checked this for plot and line. For plot it works, it shows the next index, but in the case of 'line' the result is an empty matrix.

Seems to be a low-level/high-level-function feature (?)

If I recall correctly, line() does not cause cycling through the color order; it is functionality built into plot()

Log in to comment.

Answer by Alexander on 12 Jan 2013

Seems to be that when using line instead of plot the only way to realize the automatic cycling through colors is the way Jose-Luis has suggested.

Thanks Walter for your answer too.


Log in to comment.

Discover what MATLAB® can do for your career.

Opportunities for recent engineering grads.

Apply Today