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Map Customization

Change graticule lines, add annotations, change colormap, use basemaps

Convey information about your data or enhance the display of the data by customizing your map. For example, you can add titles, change the appearance of the graticule, or add annotations. You can also provide geographic context for your data by using basemaps.


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Limits and Ticks

geolimitsSet or query geographic limits
geotickformatSet or query geographic tick label format

Labels and Annotation

titleAdd title
subtitleAdd subtitle to plot (Since R2020b)
legendAdd legend to axes
textAdd text descriptions to data points


colormapView and set current colormap
colorbarColorbar showing color scale
climSet colormap limits (Renamed from caxis in R2022a)


exportgraphicsSave plot or graphics content to file (Since R2020a)
copygraphicsCopy plot or graphics content to clipboard (Since R2020a)

Frame, Grid, and Labels

tightmapRemove white space around axesm-based map
framemControl frame of axesm-based map
gridmControl graticule lines on axesm-based map
plabelControl parallel labels on axesm-based map
mlabelControl meridian labels on axesm-based map
mlabelzero22piDisplay meridian labels on axesm-based map using range of 0 to 360 degrees


northarrowAdd north arrow to axesm-based map
scalerulerAdd or modify graphic scale on axesm-based map
textmProject text onto axesm-based map
rotatetextRotate text to projected graticule on axesm-based map


axesscaleResize axes for equivalent scale
paperscaleSet figure properties for printing axesm-based map at map scale
previewmapView figure at printed size
geobasemapSet or query basemap
readBasemapImageRead image from geographic basemap (Since R2022a)
addCustomBasemapAdd custom basemap
removeCustomBasemapRemove custom basemap
addToolbarMapButtonAdd map button to toolbar (Since R2021b)
removeToolbarMapButtonRemove map button from toolbar (Since R2021b)


Map Axes

axesm-Based Maps

  • The Map Frame
    A map frame is the outline of the limits of a map. The shape of the frame is characteristic of the projection.
  • Map and Frame Limits
    The map latitude and longitude limits define the extents of geodata to be displayed. The frame limits control how the frame fits around the displayed data.
  • Map Limit Properties
    Map limits have properties that provide a convenient and intuitive way to specify your map projection origin and frame limits. Learn how to set these properties, and when you should avoid the properties.
  • The Map Grid
    The map grid is the display of meridians and parallels. The spacing and curvature of the grid lines are characteristic of the projection.
  • Inset Maps
    Inset maps provide context to maps by including overviews at smaller scales.