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Colors for plotting

version (1.09 KB) by Giorgos
Provides color variation for line plots.


Updated 18 Sep 2013

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For multiple plots on the same figure, current color schemes are often not satisfactory. This function provides a smooth transition from red, through green, to blue. The function is especially suited for visualisation of the dependence of a variable over small variations of a parameter.

The following two ways can be used to reproduce the screenshot:

Color definition:
N = 50;
ColorSet = ColorBand(N);

Some data:
x = zeros(N, 2);
y = zeros(N, 2);
x(:,2) = N:-1:1;
y(:,2) = 1:N;

a) Separately set the color of each plot:
hold on
for m = 1:N
plot(x(m,:), y(m,:), 'color', ColorSet(m,:));

b) Manually set the color order:
hold all
set(gca, 'ColorOrder', ColorSet);
for m = 1:N
plot(x(m,:), y(m,:));

Special thanks to Jiro for the construction of a visually appealing example. See his blog on

Cite As

Giorgos (2020). Colors for plotting (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (2)

LIU Landy


MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2012a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux
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Inspired by: varycolor