Clear Filters
Clear Filters

Function like text() but with auto placement like legend?

48 views (last 30 days)
Does such a function exist which simply addes some text to a plot, without having specify the x/y location, and without also adding a line/marker graphic?
In other words, I am looking for a function which has output like text() (i.e., no other graphics, like legend() has), but which has the ability to intelligently place the text object, as in legend(), i.e.
dpb on 3 May 2017
OTOH, as noted in the Answer below, I can think of a multitude of instances wherein I would like text to be located "without being touched by human hands". :)
That's certainly one "intelligent", locating paradigm, noted, the one example I can think of presently in Matlab is legend with the 'best' location property value. It isn't always perfect, but is, on the whole in my experience, better than a random choice of a fixed location when one isn't positive a priori what the shape of the plotted data is.
Evan on 3 May 2017
Edited: Evan on 4 May 2017
@Jan, Are you saying you don't think the "location','best' functionality of legend() is useful?
"Do you want to create a text at a location, which is not covered by a graphics object? Ah, this would be another story."

Sign in to comment.

Accepted Answer

dpb on 3 May 2017
Edited: dpb on 3 May 2017
No, altho I can guess the desire...would be kind of a nice touch if Matlab could/would automagically locate a desirable place to place a label for a line label, etc., without having to compute it. It's sometimes difficult to know programmatically where to place it so doesn't obstruct the already existing information on the axes.
Only thing I can think of at the moment is there are the 'best'|'bestoutside' values for the 'Location' property in legend but I don't think there are any other user functions with similar abilities. Some of the CurveFitting tools may label stuff, I'm not sure??? but those are applications, not user functions.
What the hey, submit an enhancement request...
PS. I didn't search but there's always a possibility somebody else has had the similar yen and has written/uploaded a solution on File Exchange.
Evan on 3 May 2017
Edited: Evan on 4 May 2017
Enhancement request it is! Specifically, the request is for the location-based options used in legend() to be added to the "textbox" annotation.

Sign in to comment.

More Answers (4)

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 3 May 2017
In the case where you need only a single such item per axes:
h = line(nan, nan, 'Color', 'none');
legend(h, 'Your Message Here', 'Location', ....)
Pedro Busc
Pedro Busc on 26 May 2020
How to remove the space used to the plotted item symbol (in this case none, blank) on the left?
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 26 May 2020
You would have to use two or more outputs for legend(), and access the graphic objects such as the text() object and adjust its Position property.
Note that two or more outputs for legend() is now undocumented and unsupported, and could be removed Any Release Now.

Sign in to comment.

Evan on 4 May 2017
Here's another hack, based on a suggestion from Mathworks support.
function hOut = AutoText(textString,varargin)
l = legend(textString,varargin{:});
t = annotation('textbox');
t.String = textString;
t.Position = l.Position;
t.LineStyle = 'None';
if nargout
hOut = t;

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 9 May 2017
Evan on 9 May 2017
Edited: Evan on 9 May 2017
The accepted answer to that question is clearly copied from my answer to this question. The body of the attached function is identical.
That question is odd, too. It was asked 7 years ago, apparently by Mathworks support. You'd think they would have just added the functionality to the Textbox annotation by now...
dpb on 9 May 2017
I suppose the somebody who wrote this one thought it better than whatever was original...

Sign in to comment.

IT Department
IT Department on 3 Jan 2020
There is a function in the Matlab File Exchange that addresses this issue.


Find more on Graphics Object Properties in Help Center and File Exchange



Community Treasure Hunt

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

Start Hunting!