Add significance bars and asterisks to various plot types
Updated 13 Nov 2018

Lines and asterisks indicating significant differences between two groups on a plot are commonly used in the life and social sciences. To my knowledge, no MATLAB function for adding these is openly available. sigstar makes it easy to add lines and significance asterisks joining one or more pairs of groups on bar charts, box plots, and even line plots. The user simply supplies the identities of the two groups and the p-value (which the user has calculated using an appropriate test).
** Usage
Group identity is defined as x-axis locations or, optionally, group names (if the x-axis labels are strings). sigstar converts the supplied p-values to the appropriate number of asterisks and plots these over the lines that link the pair of groups. sigstar attempts to intelligently place lines and asterisks so that they do not overlie existing plot elements. By default, bars with longer horizontal extents are plotted above shorter bars. This is the convention and it looks neater. The user has control over the order in which significance bars are added. Modifying the order provides control over the vertical position of the bars. This is important for obtaining a neat result in a cluttered plot.

** More
See examples in "help sigstar" for details. The handles of the added plot elements are returned by default, providing the user with fine control of the plot's appearance. This is important since it's difficult to provision for all possible usage scenarios (see demo_sigstar). The function should produce publication quality results, but you may need to play with the figure size and asterisk font size.

** NOTE: If you have questions or want support, you will get an answer faster if you create an Issue on GitHub: https://github.com/raacampbell/sigstar **

Cite As

Rob Campbell (2024). raacampbell/sigstar (https://github.com/raacampbell/sigstar), GitHub. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2015b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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Version Published Release Notes

add citation

update description that was stripped when moving to GitHub.
send people to github

Fix for >R2014b. Now box plots and line plots work with new versions of MATLAB. Code is neater. A few other small improvements. Add demo code. Move to GitHub.


Bar plot code updated to run on 2014b. Boxplots *don't* work (yet) on 2014b. Sorry for the slow updates, but I personally don't use 2014b because the new graphics engine is clearly not ready yet.
change description

Update code to no longer call the range function, which is part of the stats toolbox.

Update to work with grouped error bars.

Add the ability to label data as being not significantly different. Example 2 in the function's help text shows how to do this.

To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.
To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.