# Plotting matrix columns

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Mark on 9 May 2011
Commented: mayank awasthi on 14 Jun 2021
I was able to do this in the past but forgot how I did it. Starting with a 2D matrix I was able to plot it with the first column as the X axis and generate individual sub plots of the remanining columns. Each column was its own plot with the 1st column as the X axis. A loop could do this but I seem to remember it was a simple command that put multiple plots in one figure window. Do I need to plot this as3D surface and then extract slices from the figure?
Helga Gomes on 9 May 2015
Hi, This is exactly the situation that I have and if i wasnt such a novice to Matlab I probably would have figured it out but I cant seem to. I too have the first column in excel which I want to use as my X axis and the next few as my Y axis. I want to be able to plot individual sub plots (different plots as jpeg or any other format) with my 1st column as my X axis every time but I want the Y axis to change as the remaining cols. I would like this to be a loop. but i dont know how to start by reading my xls or asci format file and then adding the loop.

Sean de Wolski on 9 May 2011
doc hold
To plot multiple thingies
figure;
hold on
for ii = 1:10
plot(matrix(:,ii))
end
Sara Nouri on 28 Mar 2020
thank you.

Fangjun Jiang on 9 May 2011
Example like this?
a=[1:10;sin(1:10);cos(1:10)]';
subplot(2,1,1);plot(a(:,1),a(:,2));
subplot(2,1,2);plot(a(:,1),a(:,3));
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Fangjun Jiang on 9 May 2011
I am not aware a built-in function to do that. Is it possible that you were using a customized function built upon subplot()? Such as:
function AutoSubPlot(a)
N=size(a,2);
if N<2,error('incorrect dimension');end
for i=1:N-1
subplot(N-1,1,i);plot(a(:,1),a(:,i+1));
end
Then, you can all this AutoSubPlot() function:
a=[1:10;sin(1:10);cos(1:10);sin(1:10);cos(1:10)]';
AutoSubPlot(a);

Stephen23 on 9 May 2015
Edited: Stephen23 on 9 May 2015
It is not clear if you really require subplots, and the other answers are mixed on this too... If the plots are to be on the same axes, then this is very easy, as plot already plots column-wise:
>> A = [1,2,3,4,5; 1,0,1,2,1; 2,1,0,1,2].'
A =
1 1 2
2 0 1
3 1 0
4 2 1
5 1 2
>> plot(A(:,1), A(:,2:end)) % first column is the x-values
produces this figure: mayank awasthi on 14 Jun 2021
Hello, Thanks for the simple solution but can you please inform me how can I put legends in this. And what if we have more Y columns.

Nina on 18 Sep 2017
Hi all, I have a question regarding the surface plotting. I have a matrix, where the first row is my x direction and the first column is my y direction. The values in between are the velocities of each point. Based on this matrix I want to create a 3D plot, where one axis is my x-direction, the second axis is my y-direction and the third axis is the velocity changes. Does anybody have an idea how should I do this?
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Nina on 19 Sep 2017