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ARROWS: generalized 2-D arrows plot

version (3.6 KB) by François Beauducel
Vectorized and flexible arrow plot function in 2-D


Updated 18 Mar 2013

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This little function is an alternative to other existing arrow plot functions, since it has very simple, vectorized and effective coding. In fact, arrows are all plotted with a single patch command! The function also accepts any standard patch parameter/value pair like 'FaceColor', 'EdgeColor', 'LineWidth', etc.

It can be used to plot a personalized arrow at coordinates X,Y with length L and azimuth AZ, or any of these arguments can be vector or matrix, like QUIVER did, to plot multiple arrows. The option 'Cartesian' allows defining U and V components instead of polar L and AZ.

Arrow's aspect ratio, head and segment line shapes are configurable with 4 parameters: head width, head length, head inside length and segment line width, all normalized to arrow's length. See the upper part of examples figure.

It is also possible to vary only the arrow length with fixed head and line width, using a reference length. The examples figure shows the effect of this option: upper arrows use a reference length, while lower arrows do not.

Comments and Ratings (3)

Works good!!

Here is my extension for parent axes and the new app ui axes workaround (use line instead of patch):

add at line 26:
% Additionally 'Parent' specifies the axes to draw (default is current axes).

add at line 104:
[s,ax,varargin] = checkparam(varargin,'parent','ishandle');
if ~s
ax = gca;

replace line 154 with:
if isa(ax, 'matlab.ui.control.UIAxes')
hh = line(ax, -fx.*l.*cos(az) + fy.*l.*sin(az) + x,fx.*l.*sin(az) + fy.*l.*cos(az) + y,'Color','k',varargin{:});
hh = patch(ax, -fx.*l.*cos(az) + fy.*l.*sin(az) + x,fx.*l.*sin(az) + fy.*l.*cos(az) + y,'k',varargin{:});



New options:
- 'Cartesian': define (U,V) instead of (L,AZ)
- 'Ref', REFLENGTH : fixes head and width relative to a reference length

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R13
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux
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Inspired: draw