# How to display only one legend for a figure with multiple plots?

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Armel on 10 Jun 2013
Commented: Adam Danz on 16 Sep 2022 at 19:18
Hello everyone,
I have two questions:
1) How can I display one unique legend for a figure with multiple plots?
2) Let assume 5,4,3, 2 and 1 as code for "very high", "High", "Moderate", "Low", and "Very Low" the values of my variable of interest. How can I display these characters strings instead of the value 5,4,3,2, and 1 in the legend?
Any thoughts for a code will be very much appreciated.
Armel

Camilo Malagon Nieto on 24 Apr 2018
I got a better solution that the one with b = get(gca,'Children')
From MatLab Documentation under Legend>Specify Charts to Include in Legend
x = linspace(0,3*pi); y1 = sin(x); p1 = plot(x,y1);
hold on y2 = sin(x - pi/4); p2 = plot(x,y2);
y3 = sin(x - pi/2); p3 = plot(x,y3); hold off
legend([p1 p3],'First','Third')
##### 2 CommentsShowHide 1 older comment
Adam Danz on 16 Sep 2022 at 19:18
See this answer below.

Raghu S on 30 Aug 2018
Here is the answer: menation these line inside legend command 'orientation','horizontal'
example: legend('orientation','horizontal','name1','name2','name3')
some example:
____________Mutiple legend:_______________
t=0:0.001:1;
sig1=2*sin(2*pi*10*t);
sig2=2*cos(2*pi*10*t);
subplot 212;plot(sig1);hold on;plot(sig2);legend('sin','cos')
subplot 211;plot(sig1);hold on;plot(sig2);legend('sin','cos')
____________Single legend___________________
legend('Location','bestoutside','orientation','horizontal','sin','cos')
One can move anywhere from the figure editor.
Attached one more example.

Angus on 10 Jun 2013
"legend('string1','string2',...) displays a legend in the current axes using the specified strings to label each set of data." ~ Matlab docs.
This is the simplest way of assigning strings to the legend. The docs show other uses.
When you say you have multiple plots, do you mean multiple axis or just multiple data plots within one axis? If you have multiple axis then you can create a unique legend that specifies what you want by using the second method from the docs:
"legend(h,'string1','string2',...) displays a legend on the plot containing the objects identified by the handles in the vector h and uses the specified strings to label the corresponding graphics object (line, barseries, etc.)."
Angus on 12 Jun 2013
Yes, I saw that before, I'm not sure if raster data changes the method used. I'm not sure how raster data is dealt with in matlab, I dont use it. If you can get it to plot as in my example (convert it to a vector?) then this method should work for you.
Have I answered the original question about legends and multiple plots? Sorry I cant be much help with raster data use.
Cheers, Angus.

Armel on 11 Jun 2013
Hi Angus,
Is there a way to upload a similar figure so you will be able to understand what I mean?
Armel
P.S I'm new to this community
##### 1 CommentShowHide None
Angus on 11 Jun 2013
Hey, I am actually still new here as well. I am not sure if there is a standard method for linking images but I have seen some people upload via other websites like TinyPic.
Cheers, Angus.

Adam Danz on 29 Sep 2020
Moved: Adam Danz on 16 Sep 2022 at 19:17
Update
Starting in Matlab r2020b, legends can be positioned relative to figure edges and can contain graphics objects from different subplots created by TiledLayout.
Examples: