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How to Make Better Plots in MATLAB: Plot Wrapper

This is third and final of a series of posts on plotting in MATLAB. This series is focusing on suggestions and considerations to get your plot looking “just right” for your paper or presentation. In the first post, I talked about how to improve the look of curves. In the second post, I talked about fixing up the text, including axis labels and legends. Here, I will talk about using a plot wrapper to automate most of your work. I will also talk about exporting your figure to whatever format you need.

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How to Make Better Plots in MATLAB: Text

This is the second of a short series of posts on plotting in MATLAB. This series is focusing on suggestions and considerations to get your plot looking “just right” for your paper or presentation. By the end, you will have a plotting function that will do most of the tweaks automatically. In this post, I’m talking about text in figures. These include axis labels, legends, and other annotations.

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How to Make Better Plots in MATLAB: Curves

This is the first of a few posts on plotting in MATLAB. I’ll be describing more than the mechanics of calling the plotting (and related) functions. This series will present suggestions and considerations to get your plot looking “just right” for your paper or presentation. By the end of the series, you will have your own plotting function that can automate as much as possible. I’m focusing on 2D plots generated by the MATLAB “plot” function, which is the most common in MATLAB, but most of the ideas also apply to the other plotting functions, too (like “histogram”), or even to plotting in general (via MATLAB or elsewhere). In this first post, I’m talking about improving the curves themselves. The next post describes annotations and other text.

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Wrapping Functions in MATLAB

If your research relies on simulations, then you typically have parameters that you need to change for every simulation you run. If you use a software platform like MATLAB, then you can try getting away with changing parameter values directly via the command line. Generally, though, it’s a lot more flexible if you assign parameters in a function or script that runs your simulation. An even more flexible strategy is to use a function wrapper. This post is an introduction to using function wrappers in MATLAB.

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Did You Know that MATLAB has a Variables Window?

Did you know that MATLAB has a Variables Window? It does, though the documentation does an excellent job of not saying much about it (searching within the documentation got me nothing but a search engine got me to this helpful page). I’m guilty of giving introductory workshops without mentioning the Variables Window. I never would have talked about it until after one workshop there was a student asking a question and I opened the Variables window to help. The student thought it was very useful but they were surprised because they had never seen the window before. I assumed that this was because they were new to MATLAB. Read more