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Interactive Legend in R2016a

Jiro's pick this week is a feature that allows you to create interactive legends using callbacks.

This week, I'd like to highlight one of the new R2016a features that just came out a couple of weeks ago. There are so many exciting features, and the one I'll be talking about today is related to a Pick from a while ago on clickableLegend by one of our ex-MathWorkers, Ameya. Ameya's entry allowed you to create an interactive legend for turning on and off particular lines.

With R2016a, you can specify custom actions that get executed when one clicks on a legend item. Let's try with the following data set.

x = linspace(0,10);
y1 = sin(x);
y2 = cos(x);
y3 = sin(x) + cos(x);
y4 = sin(x) .* cos(x);
plot(x,y1,x,y2,x,y3,x,y4)

Toggle Visibility

To use this new feature, you first create a function that defines the specific action you want to perform. For example, the following function toggles the visibility of the line.

function action1(src,event)
% This callback toggles the visibility of the line

if strcmp(event.Peer.Visible,'on')   % If current line is visible
    event.Peer.Visible = 'off';      %   Set the visibility to 'off'
else                                 % Else
    event.Peer.Visible = 'on';       %   Set the visibility to 'on'
end

Refer to the ItemHitFcn property for the explanation of the event data structure.

Then, you assign the function to the ItemHitFcn property of the legend object.

hLeg = legend('Line 1','Line 2','Line 3','Line 4');
hLeg.ItemHitFcn = @action1;

Blinking Line

Here is a different function that blinks the line that is clicked.

function action2(src,event)
% This callback causes the line to "blink"

for id = 1:3                        % Repeat 3 times
    event.Peer.LineWidth = 3;       % Set line width to 3
    pause(0.2)                      % Pause 0.2 seconds
    event.Peer.LineWidth = 0.5;     % Set line width to 0.5
    pause(0.2)                      % Pause 0.2 seconds
end
hLeg.ItemHitFcn = @action2;

Displaying Line Elsewhere

Here is another function that displays the line on a different set of axes.

function action3(src,event,hAx)
% This callback displays the selected line on a different set of axes

x = event.Peer.XData;                   % Get X data of interest
y = event.Peer.YData;                   % Get Y data of interest
plot(hAx,x,y,'Color',event.Peer.Color)  % Plot data with the same color
title(hAx,event.Peer.DisplayName)       % Set the title to the line name
subplot(2,1,1)
plot(x,y1,x,y2,x,y3,x,y4)
hLeg = legend('Line 1','Line 2','Line 3','Line 4');
hAx = subplot(2,1,2);
hLeg.ItemHitFcn = @(src,event) action3(src,event,hAx);

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Published with MATLAB® R2016a

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