offsetaxis
offsetaxis.m: Offset an x or yaxis from the plotted axis area
This repository includes the code for the offsetaxis.m
Matlab function, along with all dependent functions required to run it.
The offsetaxis
function allows one to move the visible axis away from the plotted axis area. This is often done to allow for multiple axes associated with a single graph, or to simply create a less cluttered appearance along the edges of plotted data. It achieves this appearance by creating a second, mostlyhiddenexceptfortheaxisline axis that is linked to the original axis.
Contents
 Getting started
 Syntax
 Example 1: Axis offset positions
 Example 2: More flexible multiaxis plots
Getting started
Prerequisites
This function should be compatible with all versions of Matlab.
Downloading and installation
This code can be downloaded from Github or the MatlabCentral File Exchange. The File Exchange entry is updated daily from the GitHub repository.
Matlab Search Path
The following folders need to be added to your Matlab Search path (via addpath
, pathtool
, etc.):
offsetaxispkg/offsetaxis
Syntax
offsetaxis(ax)
adds an offset yaxis to the axis or axes indicated by the handle(s) ax
, displaced 0.1 axiswidth units from the original axis.
offsetaxis(ax, ..., 'y', yoffset)
adds an offset yaxis to the axis indicated by the handle ax
, displaced by a custom distance yoffset
that is defined as a fraction of the axis width. Default is 0.1 if no xoffset is specified, and 0 otherwise.
offsetaxis(ax, ..., 'x', xoffset)
adds an offset xaxis to the axis indicated by the handle ax
, displaced by a custom distance xoffset
that is defined as a fraction of the axis height. Default is 0.
offsetaxis(ax, ..., 'yloc', yloc)
indicates where the offset yaxis should be placed ('l' = left, 'r' = right, 'lr' = both). Default is 'l'.
offsetaxis(ax, ..., 'xloc', yloc)
indicates where the offset xaxis should be placed ('t' = top, 'b' = bottom, 'tb' = both). Default is 'b'.
hy = offsetaxis(...)
returns the handles to the newlycreated axis objects used to display offset yaxes. hy
will be the same dimensions as ax
, and is only returned if a yoffset is specified by input.
hx = offsetaxis(...)
returns the handles to the newlycreated axis objects used to display offset xaxes. hx
will be the same dimensions as ax
, and is only returned if a xoffset is specified by input.
Example 1: Axis offset positions
The following example demonstrates the default location of an offset yaxis.
x = 0:0.01:20;
y1 = 200*exp(0.05*x).*sin(x);
figure;
ax = axes;
hold on;
plot(x, y1);
offsetaxis(ax); % Default, yoffset = 0.1 and yloc = 'l'
Offset axes can also be added in any direction.
figure;
ax = axes;
plot(x, y1);
offsetaxis(ax, 'y', 0.05, 'x', 0.05, 'yloc', 'lr', 'xloc', 'tb');
Example 2: More flexible multiaxis plots
Matlab includes a few helper functions to allow plotting of data on different scales on the same axes. These functions include plotyy
in older versions, and yyaxis
in newer versions. There are also numerous File Exchange entries designed to extend these functions to more data types, more axes, and to the xaxis (plotyyy, plots, etc.). These functions rely on the same underlying concept as offsetaxis
(i.e. creating extra axes). However, the lowerlevel control offered by offset axis to control all aspects of this type of plot allows you to manually build more complex multiaxis plots.
In this example, we demonstrate some of the concepts needed to create this sort of plot. We'll use the same data as the plotyy
documentation:
x = 0:0.01:20;
y1 = 200*exp(0.05*x).*sin(x);
y2 = 0.8*exp(0.5*x).*sin(10*x);
figure % new figure
plotyy(x,y1,x,y2);
The first step to creating our new figure is to create two axes on top of each other. We then add one line to each plot. Note that we need to manually remove the color from the top axis to make sure we can see through to the bottom one (and set the hold state, since a call to plot or other highlevel plotting functions will reset this if the hold state is off).
figure;
% Create two axes on top of each other
ax1 = axes;
ax2 = axes('position', ax1.Position, 'color', 'none');
hold(ax2, 'on');
% Plot data to their respective axes:
ln1 = plot(ax1, x, y1);
ln2 = plot(ax2, x, y2, 'r');
Next, we add the offset axis. It's also common to want to match the color of the axes to the plotted data, though this may vary for your particular needs.
hy = offsetaxis(ax2, 'y', 0.1);
set(hy, 'YColor', ln2.Color);
set(ax1, 'YColor', ln1.Color);
As you can see, this method involves more work than a simple call to plotyy
or yyaxis
or any of the allinone File Exchange functions, but in exchange, you can gain more flexibility over the number of and location of additional axes. You can add as many axes as needed in either the x or ydirections!
figure;
ax = axes('position', [0.2 0.2 0.6 0.6]);
offsetaxis(ax, 'y', 0.01);
offsetaxis(ax, 'y', 0.1);
offsetaxis(ax, 'y', 0.2);
offsetaxis(ax, 'y', 0.1, 'yloc', 'r');
offsetaxis(ax, 'x', 0.1);
offsetaxis(ax, 'x', 0.2);
offsetaxis(ax, 'x', 0.1, 'xloc', 't');
set(ax, 'box', 'on');
_{Published with MATLAB R2019a}
Cite As
Kelly Kearney (2023). offsetaxis (https://github.com/kakearney/offsetaxispkg), GitHub. Retrieved .
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Platform Compatibility
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offsetaxis
Versions that use the GitHub default branch cannot be downloaded
Version  Published  Release Notes  

1.0.0 
