version 1.0.2 (2.94 KB) by Benoit Pasquier
Pick the colormap from a colorbar in an image


Updated 8 Apr 2022

From GitHub

View License on GitHub


Pick the colormap from a colorbar in an image.

When you want to compare your results with someone else's, it can be hard to reproduce a map or a plot with a colormap that you don't have in your setup. This tool allows you to create a colormap that matches that of any figure. You just have to accurately select where the colorbar is on the image/figure.

Here's an example of extracting the colormap from an image with some of matplotlib's colormaps:

(Note I'm not very precise in my selection, surely you can do better!)

To check if you got it right, a colorbar with your newly created colormap is shown on the right.

Requires the Image Processing Toolbox!


  1. Find an image with a colorbar you want (e.g., take a screenshot)

  2. Call cmap = cmap_picker(image_path) This will open a figure window with your image displayed in it. (Don't forget to edit image_path to be your image's path!)

  3. And draw a rectancgle with your mouse (click-and-drag)! A colormap will be built by averaging over the colorbar's "width" (depending on the orientation of your rectangle). And a colorbar will be added to the figure to show you the colormap you just created.


Try this command and select whichever colorbar you want!

cmap = cmap_picker('');

You can then save the variable cmap or use it once, as you would anyother colormap!

View cmap_picker on File Exchange

Cite As

Benoit Pasquier (2022). cmap_picker (, GitHub. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2022a
Compatible with R2018b and later releases
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.
To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.