# Why does my legend only display 50 entries?

78 views (last 30 days)
MathWorks Support Team on 20 Oct 2017
Commented: Walter Roberson on 24 Dec 2020
I have a plot with more than 50 items and I would like to add a legend for all of them. The legend gets truncated at 50.
p = plot(magic(100));
labels = cellstr(num2str((1:100)'));
legend(p,labels)

MathWorks Support Team on 20 Oct 2017
Legends are currently limited to no more than 50 entries. Usually in plots with more than 50 features, the plot is so cluttered and the legend is so large that it is more advisable to select just a few key items to display in the legend.
If you do require more than 50 entries, the workaround is to create an additional legend. This requires creating an additional hidden axes.
First plot the original data.
p = plot(magic(100));
labels = cellstr(num2str((1:100)'));
legend(p(1:50),labels(1:50),'location','westoutside')
Next create an additional axes so that the figure can have two legends. Because the new legend needs information about the color of each line, it is necessary to copy the original lines to this new axes.
newAx = axes;
newP = copyobj(p,newAx);
legend(newP(51:100),labels(51:100),'location','eastoutside')
Now make the new axes and copied lines invisible. Normally, this would be done by setting the Visible property of each line to 'off', however this would gray out the corresponding entries in the legend. Instead, set the XData and YData properties of each line to NaN.
axis(newAx,'off')
set(newP,'XData',NaN,'YData',NaN)
Eric Sargent on 9 Dec 2020
Legend will cap the number of entries at 50 if no handles are specified. To have all objects in an axes show up, pass in their handles to the legend command.
p = plot(magic(100));
legend(p);

Eric Sargent on 9 Dec 2020
Legend will cap the number of entries at 50 if no handles are specified. To have all objects in an axes show up, pass in their handles to the legend command.
p = plot(magic(100));
legend(p);
Walter Roberson on 24 Dec 2020
It gets the axes handles from ancestor(p, 'axes') so it does not need to be passed a handle axes.

### Categories

Find more on Legend in Help Center and File Exchange

### Tags

No tags entered yet.

R2017a

### Community Treasure Hunt

Find the treasures in MATLAB Central and discover how the community can help you!

Start Hunting!