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Create a figure graphics object



figure creates figure graphics objects. Figure objects are the individual windows on the screen in which MATLAB displays graphical output.

figure creates a new figure object using default property values.

figure('PropertyName',PropertyValue,...) creates a new figure object using the values of the properties specified. MATLAB uses default values for any properties that you do not explicitly define as arguments.

figure(h) does one of two things, depending on whether or not a figure with handle h exists. If h is the handle to an existing figure, figure(h) makes the figure identified by h the current figure, makes it visible, and raises it above all other figures on the screen. The current figure is the target for graphics output. If h is not the handle to an existing figure, but is an integer, figure(h) creates a figure and assigns it the handle h. figure(h) where h is not the handle to a figure, and is not an integer, is an error.

h = figure(...) returns the handle to the figure object.


To create a figure object, MATLAB creates a new window whose characteristics are controlled by default figure properties (both factory installed and user defined) and properties specified as arguments. See the properties section for a description of these properties.

You can specify properties as property name/property value pairs, structure arrays, and cell arrays (see the set and get reference pages for examples of how to specify these data types).

Use set to modify the properties of an existing figure or get to query the current values of figure properties.

The gcf command returns the handle to the current figure and is useful as an argument to the set and get commands.

Figures can be docked in the desktop. The Dockable property determines whether you can dock the figure.


To create a figure window that is one quarter the size of your screen and is positioned in the upper left corner, use the root object's ScreenSize property to determine the size. ScreenSize is a four-element vector: [left, bottom, width, height]:

Object Hierarchy

Setting Default Properties

You can set default figure properties only on the root level.

where Property is the name of the figure property and PropertyValue is the value you are specifying. Use set and get to access figure properties.

See Also

axes, uicontrol, uimenu, close, clf, gcf, rootobject

Object Creation Functions for related functions

Figure Properties descriptions of all figure properties

See Figure Properties in the user guide for more information on figures.

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