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Scatter Properties

Scatter chart appearance and behavior

Scatter properties control the appearance and behavior of Scatter object. By changing property values, you can modify certain aspects of the scatter chart.

Starting in R2014b, you can use dot notation to query and set properties.

s = scatter(1:10,1:10);
m = s.Marker;
s.Marker = '*';

If you are using an earlier release, use the get and set functions instead.

Markers

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Marker symbol, specified as one of the options listed in this table:

ValueDescription
'o'Circle
'+'Plus sign
'*'Asterisk
'.'Point
'x'Cross
'square' or 's'Square
'diamond' or 'd'Diamond
'^'Upward-pointing triangle
'v'Downward-pointing triangle
'>'Right-pointing triangle
'<'Left-pointing triangle
'pentagram' or 'p'Five-pointed star (pentagram)
'hexagram' or 'h'Six-pointed star (hexagram)
'none'No markers

Width of marker edge, specified as a positive value in point units.

Example: 0.75

Marker outline color, specified 'flat', an RGB triplet, or one of the color options listed in the table. The default value of 'flat' uses colors from the CData property.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet. An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7]. Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the long and short color name options and the equivalent RGB triplet values.

OptionDescriptionEquivalent RGB Triplet
'red' or 'r'Red[1 0 0]
'green' or 'g'Green[0 1 0]
'blue' or 'b'Blue[0 0 1]
'yellow' or 'y'Yellow[1 1 0]
'magenta' or 'm'Magenta[1 0 1]
'cyan' or 'c'Cyan[0 1 1]
'white' or 'w'White[1 1 1]
'black' or 'k'Black[0 0 0]
'none'No colorNot applicable

Example: [0.5 0.5 0.5]

Example: 'blue'

Marker fill color, specified as 'flat', 'auto', an RGB triplet, or one of the color options listed in the table.

  • 'flat' — Use the CData values to set the color.

  • 'auto' — Use the same color as the Color property for the axes.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet. An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7]. Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the long and short color name options and the equivalent RGB triplet values.

OptionDescriptionEquivalent RGB Triplet
'red' or 'r'Red[1 0 0]
'green' or 'g'Green[0 1 0]
'blue' or 'b'Blue[0 0 1]
'yellow' or 'y'Yellow[1 1 0]
'magenta' or 'm'Magenta[1 0 1]
'cyan' or 'c'Cyan[0 1 1]
'white' or 'w'White[1 1 1]
'black' or 'k'Black[0 0 0]
'none'No colorNot applicable

Example: [0.3 0.2 0.1]

Example: 'green'

Marker edge transparency, specified as a scalar in the range [0,1]. A value of 1 is opaque and 0 is completely transparent. Values between 0 and 1 are semitransparent.

Example: s.MarkerEdgeAlpha = 0.5;

Marker face transparency, specified as a scalar in the range [0,1]. A value of 1 is opaque and 0 is completely transparent. Values between 0 and 1 are semitransparent.

Example: s.MarkerFaceAlpha = 0.5;

Color and Size Data

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Marker colors, specified as one of these values:

  • RGB triplet — Use the same color for all the markers in the plot. An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1], for example, [0.5 0.6 0.7].

  • Three-column matrix of RGB triplets — Use a different color for each marker in the plot. Each row of the matrix defines one color. The number of rows must equal the number of markers.

  • Vector — Use a different color for each marker in the plot. Specify CData as a vector the same length as XData. Linearly map the values in the vector to the colors in the current colormap.

Example: [1 0 0; 0 1 0; 0 0 1]

Variable linked to CData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the CData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the CData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Marker sizes, specified in one of these forms:

  • Scalar — Use the same size for all of the markers.

  • Vector — Use a different size for each marker. Specify SizeData as a vector the same length as XData.

Specify the values in point units, where one point equals 1/72 inch. To specify a marker that has an area of one square inch, use a value of 72^2.

Example: 50

Variable linked to SizeData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the SizeData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the SizeData values. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Cartesian Coordinate Data

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x values, specified as a scalar or a vector. The scatter plot displays an individual marker for each value in XData.

The input argument X to the scatter and scatter3 functions set the x values. XData and YData must have equal lengths.

Example: [1 2 4 2 6]

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

Variable linked to XData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the XData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the XData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'x'

y values, specified as a scalar or a vector. The scatter plot displays an individual marker for each value in YData.

The input argument Y to the scatter and scatter3 functions set the y values. XData and YData must have equal lengths.

Example: [1 3 3 4 6]

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

Variable linked to YData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the YData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the YData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'y'

z values, specified as a scalar or a vector.

  • For 2-D scatter plots, ZData is empty by default.

  • For 3-D scatter plots, the input argument Z to the scatter3 function sets the z values. XData, YData, and ZData must have equal lengths.

Example: [1 2 2 1 0]

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

Variable linked to ZData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the ZData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the ZData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'z'

Polar Coordinate Data

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Radius values, specified as a vector. ThetaData and RData must be vectors of equal length.

This property applies only to polar axes.

Variable linked to RData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the RData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the RData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

This property applies only to polar axes.

Angle values, specified as a vector. ThetaData and RData must be vectors of equal length.

This property applies only to polar axes.

Variable linked to ThetaData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the RData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the ThetaData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

This property applies only to polar axes.

Legend

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Legend label, specified as a character vector or string. If you do not specify the text, then the legend uses a label of the form 'dataN'. The legend does not display until you call the legend command.

Example: 'Label Text'

Data Types: char | string

This property is read-only.

Control for including or excluding the object from a legend, returned as an Annotation object. Set the underlying IconDisplayStyle property to one of these values:

  • 'on' — Include the object in the legend (default).

  • 'off' — Do not include the object in the legend.

For example, exclude a stem chart from the legend.

p = plot(1:10,'DisplayName','Line Chart');
hold on
s = stem(1:10,'DisplayName','Stem Chart');
hold off
s.Annotation.LegendInformation.IconDisplayStyle = 'off';
legend('show')

Alternatively, you can control the items in a legend using the legend function. Specify the first input argument as a vector of the graphics objects to include.

p = plot(1:10,'DisplayName','Line Chart');
hold on
s = stem(1:10,'DisplayName','Stem Chart');
hold off
legend(p)

Interactivity

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State of visibility, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Display the object.

  • 'off' — Hide the object without deleting it. You still can access the properties of an invisible object.

Context menu, specified as a ContextMenu object. Use this property to display a context menu when you right-click the object. Create the context menu using the uicontextmenu function.

Note

If the PickableParts property is set to 'none' or if the HitTest property is set to 'off', then the context menu does not appear.

Selection state, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Selected. If you click the object when in plot edit mode, then MATLAB sets its Selected property to 'on'. If the SelectionHighlight property also is set to 'on', then MATLAB displays selection handles around the object.

  • 'off' — Not selected.

Display of selection handles when selected, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Display selection handles when the Selected property is set to 'on'.

  • 'off' — Never display selection handles, even when the Selected property is set to 'on'.

Clipping of the object to the axes limits, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Do not display parts of the object that are outside the axes limits.

  • 'off' — Display the entire object, even if parts of it appear outside the axes limits. Parts of the object might appear outside the axes limits if you create a plot, set hold on, freeze the axis scaling, and then create the object so that it is larger than the original plot.

The Clipping property of the axes that contains the object must be set to 'on'. Otherwise, this property has no effect. For more information about the clipping behavior, see the Clipping property of the axes.

Callbacks

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Mouse-click callback, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle

  • Cell array containing a function handle and additional arguments

  • Character vector that is a valid MATLAB command or function, which is evaluated in the base workspace (not recommended)

Use this property to execute code when you click the object. If you specify this property using a function handle, then MATLAB passes two arguments to the callback function when executing the callback:

  • Clicked object — Access properties of the clicked object from within the callback function.

  • Event data — Empty argument. Replace it with the tilde character (~) in the function definition to indicate that this argument is not used.

For more information on how to use function handles to define callback functions, see Callback Definition.

Note

If the PickableParts property is set to 'none' or if the HitTest property is set to 'off', then this callback does not execute.

Creation callback, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle

  • Cell array containing a function handle and additional arguments

  • Character vector that is a valid MATLAB command or function, which is evaluated in the base workspace (not recommended)

Use this property to execute code when you create the object. MATLAB executes the callback after creating the object and setting all of its properties. Setting the CreateFcn property on an existing object has no effect. To have an effect, you must specify the CreateFcn property during object creation. One way to specify the property during object creation is to set the default property value for the object. See Default Property Values for more information.

If you specify this callback using a function handle, then MATLAB passes two arguments to the callback function when executing the callback:

  • Created object — Access properties of the object from within the callback function. You also can access the object through the CallbackObject property of the root, which can be queried using the gcbo function.

  • Event data — Empty argument. Replace it with the tilde character (~) in the function definition to indicate that this argument is not used.

For more information on how to use function handles to define callback functions, see Callback Definition.

Deletion callback, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle

  • Cell array containing a function handle and additional arguments

  • Character vector that is a valid MATLAB command or function, which is evaluated in the base workspace (not recommended)

Use this property to execute code when you delete the object MATLAB executes the callback before destroying the object so that the callback can access its property values.

If you specify this callback using a function handle, then MATLAB passes two arguments to the callback function when executing the callback:

  • Deleted object — Access properties of the object from within the callback function. You also can access the object through the CallbackObject property of the root, which can be queried using the gcbo function.

  • Event data — Empty argument. Replace it with the tilde character (~) in the function definition to indicate that this argument is not used.

For more information on how to use function handles to define callback functions, see Callback Definition.

Callback Execution Control

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Callback interruption, specified as 'on' or 'off'. The Interruptible property determines if a running callback can be interrupted.

Note

Consider these callback states where:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

Whenever MATLAB invokes a callback, that callback attempts to interrupt a running callback. The Interruptible property of the object owning the running callback determines if interruption is permitted. If interruption is not permitted, then the BusyAction property of the object owning the interrupting callback determines if it is discarded or put in the queue.

The Interruptible property determines if another callback can interrupt the ButtonDownFcn callback of the Scatter object. The Interruptible property has two values:

  • 'on' — Interruptible. Interruption occurs at the next point where MATLAB processes the queue. For example, when you have a command such as drawnow, figure, getframe, waitfor, or pause.

    • If the running callback contains one of these commands, then MATLAB stops the execution of the callback at this point and executes the interrupting callback. MATLAB resumes executing the running callback when the interrupting callback completes. For more information, see Interrupt Callback Execution.

    • If the running callback does not contain one of these commands, then MATLAB finishes executing the callback without interruption.

  • 'off' — Not interruptible. MATLAB finishes executing the running callback without any interruptions.

Callback queuing specified as 'queue' or 'cancel'. The BusyAction property determines how MATLAB handles the execution of interrupting callbacks.

Consider these callback states where:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

Whenever MATLAB invokes a callback, that callback attempts to interrupt a running callback. The Interruptible property of the object owning the running callback determines if interruption is permitted. If interruption is not permitted, then the BusyAction property of the object owning the interrupting callback determines if it is discarded or put in the queue.

If a callback of the Scatter object tries to interrupt a running callback that cannot be interrupted, then the BusyAction property determines if it is discarded or put in the queue. Specify the BusyAction property as one of these values:

  • 'queue' — Put the interrupting callback in a queue to be processed after the running callback finishes execution. (default behavior)

  • 'cancel' — Discard the interrupting callback.

Ability to capture mouse clicks, specified as one of these values:

  • 'visible' — Capture mouse clicks when visible. The Visible property must be set to 'on' and you must click a part of the Scatter object that has a defined color. You cannot click a part that has an associated color property set to 'none'. If the plot contains markers, then the entire marker is clickable if either the edge or the fill has a defined color. The HitTest property determines if the Scatter object responds to the click or if an ancestor does.

  • 'none' — Cannot capture mouse clicks. Clicking the Scatter object passes the click to the object below it in the current view of the figure window. The HitTest property of the Scatter object has no effect.

Response to captured mouse clicks, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Trigger the ButtonDownFcn callback of the Scatter object. If you have defined the UIContextMenu property, then invoke the context menu.

  • 'off' — Trigger the callbacks for the nearest ancestor of the Scatter object that has:

    • HitTest property set to 'on'

    • PickableParts property set to a value that enables the ancestor to capture mouse clicks.

Note

The PickableParts property determines if the Scatter object can capture mouse clicks. If it cannot, then the HitTest property has no effect.

This property is read-only.

Deletion status, returned as 'off' or 'on'. MATLAB sets the BeingDeleted property to 'on' when the delete function of the object begins execution (see the DeleteFcn property). The BeingDeleted property remains set to 'on' until the object no longer exists.

Check the value of the BeingDeleted property if you need to verify that the object is not about to be deleted before querying or modifying it.

Parent/Child

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Parent, specified as an Axes, PolarAxes, Group, or Transform object.

The object has no children. You cannot set this property.

Visibility of the object handle in the Children property of the parent, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Object handle is always visible.

  • 'off' — Object handle is invisible at all times. This option is useful for preventing unintended changes to the UI by another function. Set the HandleVisibility to 'off' to temporarily hide the handle during the execution of that function.

  • 'callback' — Object handle is visible from within callbacks or functions invoked by callbacks, but not from within functions invoked from the command line. This option blocks access to the object at the command line, but permits callback functions to access it.

If the object is not listed in the Children property of the parent, then functions that obtain object handles by searching the object hierarchy or querying handle properties cannot return it. For example, when you have a function such as get, findobj, gca, gcf, gco, newplot, cla, clf, and close.

Hidden object handles are still valid. Set the root ShowHiddenHandles property to 'on' to list all object handles regardless of their HandleVisibility property setting.

Identifiers

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This property is read-only.

Type of graphics object, returned as 'scatter'. Use this property to find all objects of a given type within a plotting hierarchy, for example, searching for the type using findobj.

Tag to associate with the scatter object, specified as a character vector or string scalar.

Use this property to find scatter objects in a hierarchy. For example, you can use the findobj function to find scatter objects that have a specific Tag property value.

Example: 'January Data'

User data to associate with the scatter object, specified as any MATLAB data, for example, a scalar, vector, matrix, cell array, character array, table, or structure. MATLAB does not use this data.

To associate multiple sets of data or to attach a field name to the data, use the getappdata and setappdata functions.

Example: 1:100

Introduced before R2006a

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