Solved: how to set figure size so you can see plot

Plotting in Matlab is a common yet important task for a wide variety of applications. One crucial aspect to enhance the readability and interpretability of a plot is the right setting of the figure size. A well-scaled figure allows for easier understanding of the data and its insights, enhancing effective communication of the research work. The problem of appropriately sizing a figure is often overlooked, resulting in a misrepresentation of the data. This article thus aims to address this issue in Matlab, providing a step-by-step guide on how to set the figure size so you can see the plot clearly.

% Set a random seed

% Create random data
x = randn(100, 1);
y = 1.2 * x + randn(100, 1);

% Create figure and axes objects
figure('Units', 'inches', 'Position', [0 0 6 4]);
plot(x, y, '.');

% Label the axes

The above code block is a basic example where an ‘inches’ unit is specified, and a 6×4 inches-sized figure is created for the plot.

Detailed Explanation of Code

The first step in the process is the creation of the necessary data. In our example, we are using randomly generated data using Matlab’s ‘randn’ function. Following this, we create figure and axes objects. We state the ‘units’ as ‘inches’ and ‘position’ is set to [0 0 6 4], representing a 6×4 inches plot. The dots ‘.’ in the ‘plot’ function depict the data points in a scatter plot format. Labeling the axes is performed using the ‘xlabel’ and ‘ylabel’ functions.

In the code block, ‘Units’ is an important variable as it sets the units in which the figure size and position is defined. The ‘Position’ variable is a four-element vector defining the size and the position of the figure. It is represented as [left bottom width height] where ‘left’ and ‘bottom’ are the distance from the left and bottom edge of the screen and ‘width’ and ‘height’ set the figure size.

Matlab Libraries Involved

Matlab provides users with a variety of libraries that can output different types of plots. For instance, some commonly used ones include:

  • The ‘plot’ function, which is used for creating basic x-y plots.
  • The ‘stem’ function provides a simple way of creating stem plots.
  • ‘histogram’ assists in creating histogram plots.
  • Functions like ‘bar’ and ‘pie’ are utilised for creating bar and pie charts respectively.

Matlab users extensively utilise the ‘plot’ function, owing to its flexibility and ease of use. Therefore, setting the right figure size to enhance the plot readability is an essential aspect any Matlab user should be aware of.

Similar Problems in Plotting

Apart from figure sizing, there are other problems that users might face while creating plots in Matlab. These could be such as setting the right scale, maintaining proper margins, setting appropriate colors and markers, and ensuring the correct line style and width. All these are essential elements in ensuring a high-quality, readable plot. Grasping how these parameters work in shaping the data representation can significantly assist in refining one’s skills in Matlab plotting.

From visualizing simple datasets to more complex multi-dimensional data, Matlab provides a plethora of tools to aid in effective data graphical representation. Thus, understanding these elements, including the specifics of correctly setting a figure size, is crucial in effective data representation and communication. As such, it is hoped that the given guide on how to set the figure size in Matlab plotting is useful to its readers.

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