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Ancestor of graphics object


p = ancestor(h,type)
p = ancestor(h,type,'toplevel')


p = ancestor(h,type) returns the handle of the closest ancestor of h, if the ancestor is one of the types of graphics objects specified by type. type can be:

  • a character vector with the name of a single type of object, for example, 'figure'.

  • a cell array containing the names of multiple objects, for example, {'hgtransform','hggroup','axes'}.

If MATLAB® cannot find an ancestor of h that is one of the specified types, then ancestor returns p as empty. When ancestor searches the hierarchy, it includes the object itself in the search. Therefore, if the object with handle h is of one of the types listed in type, ancestor will return object h.

ancestor returns p as empty but does not issue an error if h is not a graphics object.

p = ancestor(h,type,'toplevel') returns the highest-level ancestor of h, if this type appears in the type argument.


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Create Line objects and parent them to a Group object. Then return the top-level ancestor.

g = hggroup;
ln = line(randn(5),randn(5),'Parent',g);

tp = ancestor(g,{'figure','axes','hggroup'},'toplevel')
tp = 
  Figure (1) with properties:

      Number: 1
        Name: ''
       Color: [1 1 1]
    Position: [348 376 583 437]
       Units: 'pixels'

  Use GET to show all properties

Version History

Introduced before R2006a

See Also