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Barseries Properties

Modifying Properties

You can set and query graphics object properties using the set and get commands or the Property Editor (propertyeditor).

Note that you cannot define default properties for barseries objects.

See Plot Objects for more information on barseries objects.

Barseries Property Descriptions

This section provides a description of properties. Curly braces { } enclose default values.

BarLayout                    {grouped} | stacked

Specify grouped or stacked bars. Grouped bars display m groups of n vertical bars, where m is the number of rows and n is the number of columns in the input argument Y. The group contains one bar per column in Y.

Stacked bars display one bar for each row in the input argument Y. The bar height is the sum of the elements in the row. Each bar is multicolored, with colors corresponding to distinct elements and showing the relative contribution each row element makes to the total sum.

BarWidth                     scalar in range [0 1]

Width of individual bars. BarWidth specifies the relative bar width and controls the separation of bars within a group. The default width is 0.8, so if you do not specify x, the bars within a group have a slight separation. If width is 1, the bars within a group touch one another.

BaseLine                     handle of baseline

Handle of the baseline object. This property contains the handle of the line object used as the baseline. You can set the properties of this line using its handle. For example, the following statements create a bar graph, obtain the handle of the baseline from the barseries object, and then set line properties that make the baseline a dashed, red line.

BaseValue                    double: y-axis value

Value where baseline is drawn. You can specify the value along the y-axis (vertical bars) or x-axis (horizontal bars) at which MATLAB draws the baseline.

BeingDeleted                 on | {off} Read Only

This object is being deleted. The BeingDeleted property provides a mechanism that you can use to determine if objects are in the process of being deleted. MATLAB sets the BeingDeleted property to on when the object's delete function callback is called (see the DeleteFcn property). It remains set to on while the delete function executes, after which the object no longer exists.

For example, an object's delete function might call other functions that act on a number of different objects. These functions might not need to perform actions on objects if the objects are going to be deleted, and therefore, can check the object's BeingDeleted property before acting.

BusyAction                   cancel | {queue}

Callback routine interruption. The BusyAction property enables you to control how MATLAB handles events that potentially interrupt executing callbacks. If there is a callback function executing, callbacks invoked subsequently always attempt to interrupt it.

If the Interruptible property of the object whose callback is executing is set to on (the default), then interruption occurs at the next point where the event queue is processed. If the Interruptible property is off, the BusyAction property (of the object owning the executing callback) determines how MATLAB handles the event. The choices are

ButtonDownFcn                string or function handle

Button press callback function. A callback that executes whenever you press a mouse button while the pointer is over the barseries object.

This property can be

The expression executes in the MATLAB workspace.

See Function Handle Callbacks for information on how to use function handles to define the callbacks.

Children                     array of graphics object handles

Children of the barseries object. The handle of a patch object that is the child of the barseries object (whether visible or not).

Note that if a child object's HandleVisibility property is set to callback or off, its handle does not show up in the bar Children property unless you set the root ShowHiddenHandles property to on:

Clipping                     {on} | off

Clipping mode. MATLAB clips bar graphs to the axes plot box by default. If you set Clipping to off, bars may be displayed outside the axes plot box.

CreateFcn                    string or function handle

Callback routine executed during object creation. This property defines a callback that executes when MATLAB creates a barseries object. You must specify the callback during the creation of the object. For example,

where @CallbackFcn is a function handle that references the callback function.

MATLAB executes this routine after setting all other barseries properties. Setting this property on an existing barseries object has no effect.

The handle of the object whose CreateFcn is being executed is accessible only through the root CallbackObject property, which you can query using gcbo.

See Function Handle Callbacks for information on how to use function handles to define the callback function.

DeleteFcn                    string or function handle

Callback executed during object deletion. A callback that executes when the barseries object is deleted (e.g., this might happen when you issue a delete command on the barseries object, its parent axes, or the figure containing it). MATLAB executes the callback before destroying the object's properties so the callback routine can query these values.

The handle of the object whose DeleteFcn is being executed is accessible only through the root CallbackObject property, which can be queried using gcbo.

See Function Handle Callbacks for information on how to use function handles to define the callback function.

See the BeingDeleted property for related information.

DisplayName                  string

Label used by plot legends. The legend and the plot browser uses this text for labels for any barseries objects appearing in these legends.

EdgeColor                    {[0 0 0]} | none | ColorSpec

Color of the edge of the bars. You can set the color of the edge of the bars to a three-element RGB vector or one of the MATLAB predefined names, including the string none. The default edge color is black. See ColorSpec for more information on specifying color.

EraseMode                    {normal} | none | xor | background

Erase mode. This property controls the technique MATLAB uses to draw and erase bar child objects (the patch object used to construct the bar plot). Alternative erase modes are useful for creating animated sequences, where control of the way individual objects are redrawn is necessary to improve performance and obtain the desired effect.

Printing with Nonnormal Erase Modes

MATLAB always prints figures as if the EraseMode of all objects is normal. This means graphics objects created with EraseMode set to none, xor, or background can look different on screen than on paper. On screen, MATLAB can mathematically combine layers of colors (e.g., performing an XOR operation on a pixel color with that of the pixel behind it) and ignore three-dimensional sorting to obtain greater rendering speed. However, these techniques are not applied to the printed output.

Set the axes background color with the axes Color property. Set the figure background color with the figure Color property.

You can use the MATLAB getframe command or other screen capture applications to create an image of a figure containing nonnormal mode objects.

FaceColor                    {flat} | none | ColorSpec

Color of filled areas. This property can be any of the following:

HandleVisibility             {on} | callback | off

Control access to object's handle by command-line users and GUIs. This property determines when an object's handle is visible in its parent's list of children. HandleVisibility is useful for preventing command-line users from accidentally accessing the barseries object.

Functions Affected by Handle Visibility

When a handle is not visible in its parent's list of children, it cannot be returned by functions that obtain handles by searching the object hierarchy or querying handle properties. This includes get, findobj, gca, gcf, gco, newplot, cla, clf, and close.

Properties Affected by Handle Visibility

When a handle's visibility is restricted using callback or off, the object's handle does not appear in its parent's Children property, figures do not appear in the root's CurrentFigure property, objects do not appear in the root's CallbackObject property or in the figure's CurrentObject property, and axes do not appear in their parent's CurrentAxes property.

Overriding Handle Visibility

You can set the Root ShowHiddenHandles property to on to make all handles visible regardless of their HandleVisibility settings (this does not affect the values of the HandleVisibility properties). See also findall.

Handle Validity

Handles that are hidden are still valid. If you know an object's handle, you can set and get its properties and pass it to any function that operates on handles.

HitTest                      {on} | off

Selectable by mouse click. HitTest determines whether the barseries object can become the current object (as returned by the gco command and the figure CurrentObject property) as a result of a mouse click on the objects that compose the bar graph. If HitTest is off, clicking the barseries object selects the object below it (which is usually the axes containing it).

HitTestArea                  on | {off}

Select barseries object on bars or area of extent. This property enables you to select barseries objects in two ways:

When HitTestArea is off, you must click the bars to select the barseries object. When HitTestArea is on, you can select the barseries object by clicking anywhere within the extent of the bar graph (i.e., anywhere within a rectangle that encloses all the bars).

Interruptible                {on} | off

Callback routine interruption mode. The Interruptible property controls whether a barseries object callback can be interrupted by callbacks invoked subsequently.

Only callbacks defined for the ButtonDownFcn property are affected by the Interruptible property. MATLAB checks for events that can interrupt a callback only when it encounters a drawnow, figure, getframe, or pause command in the routine. See the BusyAction property for related information.

Setting Interruptible to on allows any graphics object's callback to interrupt callback routines originating from a bar property. Note that MATLAB does not save the state of variables or the display (e.g., the handle returned by the gca or gcf command) when an interruption occurs.

LineStyle                    {-} | -- | : | -. | none

Line style. This property specifies the line style used for the bar edges. Available line styles are shown in the following table.

Line Style
Solid line (default)
Dashed line
Dotted line
Dash-dot line
No line

LineWidth                    scalar

The width of the bar edges. Specify this value in points (1 point = 1/72 inch). The default LineWidth is 0.5 points.

Parent                       axes handle

Parent of barseries object. This property contains the handle of the barseries object's parent object. The parent of a barseries object is the axes, hggroup, or hgtransform object that contains it.

See Objects That Can Contain Other Objects for more information on parenting graphics objects.

Selected                     on | {off}

Is object selected? When you set this property to on, MATLAB displays selection "handles" at the corners and midpoints if the SelectionHighlight property is also on (the default). You can, for example, define the ButtonDownFcn callback to set this property to on, thereby indicating that the barseries object is selected.

SelectionHighlight           {on} | off

Objects are highlighted when selected. When the Selected property is on, MATLAB indicates the selected state by drawing four edge handles and four corner handles. When SelectionHighlight is off, MATLAB does not draw the handles.

ShowBaseLine                 {on} | off

Turn baseline display on or off. This property determines whether bar plots display a baseline from which the bars are drawn. By default, the baseline is displayed.

Tag                          string

User-specified object label. The Tag property provides a means to identify graphics objects with a user-specified label. This is particularly useful when you are constructing interactive graphics programs that would otherwise need to define object handles as global variables or pass them as arguments between callbacks.

For example, you might create a barseries object and set the Tag property:

When you want to access the barseries object, you can use findobj to find the barseries object's handle. The following statement changes the FaceColor property of the object whose Tag is bar1.

Type                         string (read only)

Type of graphics object. This property contains a string that identifies the class of the graphics object. For barseries objects, Type is hggroup.

The following statement finds all the hggroup objects in the current axes.

UIContextMenu                handle of a uicontextmenu object

Associate a context menu with the barseries object. Assign this property the handle of a uicontextmenu object created in the barseries object's parent figure. Use the uicontextmenu function to create the context menu. MATLAB displays the context menu whenever you right-click over the area object.

UserData                     array

User-specified data. This property can be any data you want to associate with the barseries object (including cell arrays and structures). The barseries object does not set values for this property, but you can access it using the set and get functions.

Visible                      {on} | off

Visibility of barseries object and its children. By default, barseries object visibility is on. This means all children of the barseries object are visible unless the child object's Visible property is set to off. Setting a barseries object's Visible property to off also makes its children invisible.

XData                        array

Location of bars. The x-axis intervals for the vertical bars or y-axis intervals for horizontal bars (as specified by the x input argument). If YData is a vector, XData must be the same size. If YData is a matrix, the length of XData must be equal to the number of rows in YData.

XDataMode                    {auto} | manual

Use automatic or user-specified x-axis values. If you specify XData (by setting the XData property or specifying the x input argument), MATLAB sets this property to manual.

If you set XDataMode to auto after having specified XData, MATLAB resets the bar locations and x-tick labels (y-tick labels for horizontal bars) to the indices of the YData.

XDataSource                  string (MATLAB variable)

Link XData to MATLAB variable. Set this property to a MATLAB variable that is evaluated in the base workspace to generate the XData.

MATLAB reevaluates this property only when you set it. Therefore, a change to workspace variables appearing in an expression does not change XData.

You can use the refreshdata function to force an update of the object's data. refreshdata also enables you to specify that the data source variable be evaluated in the workspace of a function from which you call refreshdata.

See the refreshdata reference page for more information.

YData                        scalar, vector, or matrix

Bar plot data. YData contains the data plotted as bars (the Y input argument). Each value in YData is represented by a bar in the bar graph. If YData is a matrix, the bar function creates a "group" or a "stack" of bars for each column in the matrix. See Bar Graph Options for examples of grouped and stacked bar graphs.

The input argument Y in the bar function calling syntax assigns values to YData.

YDataSource                  string (MATLAB variable)

Link YData to MATLAB variable. Set this property to a MATLAB variable that is evaluated in the base workspace to generate the YData.

MATLAB reevaluates this property only when you set it. Therefore, a change to workspace variables appearing in an expression does not change YData.

You can use the refreshdata function to force an update of the object's data. refreshdata also enables you to specify that the data source variable be evaluated in the workspace of a function from which you call refreshdata.

See the refreshdata reference page for more information.

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