MATLAB Answers


copy graphic to Excel

Asked by Jason
on 13 May 2011
How can I take the code below to just copy the graphic on axes component (axes1) to clipboard. I then have code to paste it to excel. It currently copies all of my matlab screen.
print -dmeta; %.................Copying to clipboard


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2 Answers

Answer by Andy
on 13 May 2011

screencapture('handle',ax, 'filename', fn); % save the graph in file fn
20,... % distance from left of sheet
20,... % distance from top of sheet
600,... % width
400); % height
Note that you will need to have opened an actxserver connection to MATLAB. In the above, ax is the handle to your axes, fn is the file where your image is saved, and exlSheet is an Excel Sheet object.
EDIT: Here is some sample actxserve code. I have had a chance to test this and it works for me. Refer to if needed.
x = 0:0.1:10;
y = sin(x);
f = figure;
ax = axes('parent',f);
fn = fullfile(pwd,'myplot.bmp');
screencapture('handle',ax, 'filename', fn);
e = actxserver('Excel.application');
eW = e.Workbooks;
eF = eW.Add; % start a new file; use Open method for existing files
eS = eF.ActiveSheet;
e.Visible = 1; % Excel window won't show up by default
20,... % distance from left of sheet
20,... % distance from top of sheet
400,... % width
300); % height


on 16 May 2011
I'm not quite sure what you mean. Do you have multiple figures? If so, you can type at the command line:
figurelist = findall(0, 'type', 'figure');
If you mean you want to see all of the handles to controls in your GUI figure, then you only need to print the handles structure. (Alternatively, if you open your GUI in GUIDE, you can right click on a control, open the property inspector, and look at its Tag property.)
Im, still confused over the figure1 issue. On my GUI created in GUIDE, I drag an axes component and leave its tag as default - axes1. I then plot to axes 1 by :
I do not create a figure.
So writing hf=handles.figure1 and then print(handles.figure1, '-dmeta');
just copys the whole GUI to clipboard, not the axes 1 component that I am after. Is it worth sharing my files?
on 16 May 2011
That's correct. It's a documented limitation of the print function that it cannot take as an argument, for example, just the axes handle. Yair Altman's screencapture utility that I linked to before CAN capture only the axes without copying the whole figure. I'm not at MATLAB right now, so I can't be certain, but I don't think there is a way for the screencapture utility to write to the system clipboard. That's why I suggested writing to a file and then importing the file into Excel. I really think this is the best solution, but when I'm next using MATLAB I can try to think of something that doesn't produce the intermediate file.

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Answer by Laura Proctor on 13 May 2011

hf = figure;


The parent of axes1.
hf = get(handles.axes1,'parent');
will find it for you, if it's not called figure1.
It still copies the whole GUI and not just the graphic in the axes component.
on 17 May 2011
Yes, that has been pointed out to you before. I have updated the code in my answer with tested code which works correctly and copies only the axes.

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