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Adam Danz
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New in MATLAB R2022a: Fontsize scaling

Adam Danz on 14 Mar 2022 (Edited on 17 Mar 2022)
Latest activity Edit by Adam Danz on 17 Mar 2022

You've spent hours designing the perfect figure and now it's time to add it to a presentation or publication but the font sizes in the figure are too small to see for the people in the back of the room or too large for the figure space in the publication. You've got titles, subtitles, axis labels, legends, text objects, and other labels but their handles are inaccessible or scattered between several blocks of code. Making your figure readable no longer requires digging through your code and setting each text object's font size manually.

Starting in MATLAB R2022a, you have full control over a figure's font sizes and font units using the new fontsize function (see release notes ).

Use fontsize() to

  • Set FontSize and FontUnits properties for all text within specified graphics objects
  • Incrementally increase or decrease font sizes
  • Specify a scaling factor to maintain relative font sizes
  • Reset font sizes and font units to their default values . Note that the default font size and units may not be the same as the font sizes/units set directly with your code.

When specifying an object handle or an array of object handles, fontsize affects the font sizes and font units of text within all nested objects.

While you're at it, also check out the new fontname function that allows you to change the font name of objects in a figure!

Give the new fontsize function a test drive using the following demo figure in MATLAB R2022a or later and try the following commands:

% Increase all font sizes within the figure by a factor of 1.5
fontsize(fig, scale=1.5)
% Set all font sizes in the uipanel to 16
fontsize(uip, 16, "pixels")
% Incrementally increase the font sizes of the left two axes (x1.1)
% and incrementally decrease the font size of the legend (x0.9)
fontsize([ax1, ax2], "increase")
fontsize(leg, "decrease")
% Reset the font sizes within the entire figure to default values
fontsize(fig, "default")
% Create fake behavioral data
fy = @(a,x)a*exp(-(((x-8).^2)/(2*3.^2)));
x = 1 : 0.5 : 20;
y = fy(32,x);
ynoise = y+8*rand(size(y))-4;
selectedTrial = 13;
% Plot behavioral data
fig = figure('Units','normalized','Position',[0.1, 0.1, 0.4, 0.5]);
movegui(fig, 'center')
tcl = tiledlayout(fig,2,2); 
ax1 = nexttile(tcl); 
h1 = plot(ax1, x, ynoise, 'bo', 'DisplayName', 'Response');
h2 = plot(ax1, x, y, 'r-', 'DisplayName', 'Expected');
grid(ax1, 'on')
title(ax1, 'Behavioral Results')
subtitle(ax1, sprintf('Trial %d', selectedTrial))
xlabel(ax1, 'Time (seconds)','Interpreter','Latex')
ylabel(ax1, 'Responds ($\frac{deg}{sec}$)','Interpreter','Latex')
leg = legend([h1,h2]);
% Plot behavioral error
ax2 = nexttile(tcl,3);
behavioralError = ynoise-y; 
stem(ax2, x, behavioralError)
yline(ax2, mean(behavioralError), 'r--', 'Mean', ...
grid(ax2, 'on')
title(ax2, 'Behavioral Error')
subtitle(ax2, ax1.Subtitle.String)
xlabel(ax2, ax1.XLabel.String,'Interpreter','Latex')
ylabel(ax2, 'Response - Expected ($\frac{deg}{sec}$)','Interpreter','Latex')
% Simulate spike train data
ntrials = 25; 
nSamplesPerSecond = 3; 
nSeconds = max(x) - min(x); 
nSamples = ceil(nSeconds*nSamplesPerSecond);
xTime = linspace(min(x),max(x), nSamples);
spiketrain = round(fy(1, xTime)+(rand(ntrials,nSamples)-.5));
[trial, sample] = find(spiketrain);
time = xTime(sample);
% Spike raster plot
axTemp = nexttile(tcl, 2, [2,1]);
uip = uipanel(fig, 'Units', axTemp.Units, ...
    'Position', axTemp.Position, ...
    'Title', 'Neural activity', ...
    'BackgroundColor', 'W');
tcl2 = tiledlayout(uip, 3, 1);
pax1 = nexttile(tcl2); 
plot(pax1, time, trial, 'b.', 'MarkerSize', 4)
yline(pax1, selectedTrial-0.5, 'r-', ...
    ['\leftarrow Trial ',num2str(selectedTrial)], ...
    'LabelHorizontalAlignment','right', ...
    'FontSize', 8); 
linkaxes([ax1, ax2, pax1], 'x')
pax1.YLimitMethod = 'tight';
title(pax1, 'Spike train')
xlabel(pax1, ax1.XLabel.String)
ylabel(pax1, 'Trial #')
% Show MRI
pax2 = nexttile(tcl2,2,[2,1]); 
[I, cmap] = imread('mri.tif');
hold(pax2, 'on')
th = 0:0.1:2*pi; 
plot(pax2, 7*sin(th)+84, 5*cos(th)+90, 'r-','LineWidth',2)
text(pax2, pax2.XLim(2), pax2.YLim(1), 'ML22a',...
    'FontWeight', 'bold', ...
    'Color','r', ...
    'VerticalAlignment', 'top', ...
    'HorizontalAlignment', 'right', ...
    'BackgroundColor',[1 0.95 0.95])
title(pax2, 'Area of activation')
% Overall figure title
title(tcl, 'Single trial responses')

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