plot
Plot graph nodes and edges
Description
plot(___,
uses
additional options specified by one or more NameValue pair arguments using any of
the input argument combinations in previous syntaxes. For example,
Name,Value
)plot(G,'Layout','circle')
plots a circular ring layout of the
graph, and plot(G,'XData',X,'YData',Y,'ZData',Z)
specifies the
(X,Y,Z)
coordinates of the graph nodes.
plot(
plots into the
axes specified by ax
,___)ax
instead of into the current axes
(gca
). The option, ax
, can precede any of
the input argument combinations in previous syntaxes.
Examples
Plot Graph
Create a graph using a sparse adjacency matrix, and then plot the graph.
n = 10; A = delsq(numgrid('L',n+2)); G = graph(A,'omitselfloops')
G = graph with properties: Edges: [130x2 table] Nodes: [75x0 table]
plot(G)
Plot Graph Using Line Specifier
Create and plot a graph. Specify the LineSpec
input to change the Marker
, NodeColor
, and/or LineStyle
of the graph plot.
G = graph(bucky); plot(G,'.dr','NodeLabel',{})
Plot Graph with Specified Layout
Create a directed graph, and then plot the graph using the 'force'
layout.
G = digraph(1,2:5); G = addedge(G,2,6:15); G = addedge(G,15,16:20)
G = digraph with properties: Edges: [19x1 table] Nodes: [20x0 table]
plot(G,'Layout','force')
Custom Graph Node Coordinates
Create a weighted graph.
s = [1 1 1 1 1 2 2 7 7 9 3 3 1 4 10 8 4 5 6 8]; t = [2 3 4 5 7 6 7 5 9 6 6 10 10 10 11 11 8 8 11 9]; weights = [1 1 1 1 3 3 2 4 1 6 2 8 8 9 3 2 10 12 15 16]; G = graph(s,t,weights)
G = graph with properties: Edges: [20x2 table] Nodes: [11x0 table]
Plot the graph using custom coordinates for the nodes. The xcoordinates are specified using XData
, the ycoordinates are specified using YData
, and the zcoordinates are specified using ZData
. Use EdgeLabel
to label the edges using the edge weights.
x = [0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 1.5 0 2 1.5 2]; y = [0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 2 0 2 0 0 0]; z = [5 3 3 3 3 0 1 0 0 1 0]; plot(G,'XData',x,'YData',y,'ZData',z,'EdgeLabel',G.Edges.Weight)
View the graph from above.
view(2)
Edge Line Width Proportional to Edge Weight
Create a weighted graph.
s = [1 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 6]; t = [2 3 4 5 3 6 6 5 7 7 7]; weights = [50 10 20 80 90 90 30 20 100 40 60]; G = graph(s,t,weights)
G = graph with properties: Edges: [11x2 table] Nodes: [7x0 table]
Plot the graph, labeling the edges with their weights, and making the width of the edges proportional to their weights. Use a rescaled version of the edge weights to determine the width of each edge, such that the widest line has a width of 5.
LWidths = 5*G.Edges.Weight/max(G.Edges.Weight); plot(G,'EdgeLabel',G.Edges.Weight,'LineWidth',LWidths)
Label Graph Nodes and Edges
Create a directed graph. Plot the graph with custom labels for the nodes and edges.
s = [1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 6 7]; t = [2 3 4 5 6 5 7 6 7 8 8 8]; G = digraph(s,t)
G = digraph with properties: Edges: [12x1 table] Nodes: [8x0 table]
eLabels = {'x' 'y' 'z' 'y' 'z' 'x' 'z' 'x' 'y' 'z' 'y' 'x'}; nLabels = {'{0}','{x}','{y}','{z}','{x,y}','{x,z}','{y,z}','{x,y,z}'}; plot(G,'Layout','force','EdgeLabel',eLabels,'NodeLabel',nLabels)
Adjust GraphPlot Properties
Create and plot a directed graph. Specify an output argument to plot
to return a handle to the GraphPlot
object.
s = [1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 6 7 7 8 8 9 10 11]; t = [2 3 10 4 12 4 5 6 6 7 9 8 10 9 11 12 11 12]; G = digraph(s,t)
G = digraph with properties: Edges: [18x1 table] Nodes: [12x0 table]
p = plot(G)
p = GraphPlot with properties: NodeColor: [0 0.4470 0.7410] MarkerSize: 4 Marker: 'o' EdgeColor: [0 0.4470 0.7410] LineWidth: 0.5000 LineStyle: '' NodeLabel: {'1' '2' '3' '4' '5' '6' '7' '8' '9' '10' '11' '12'} EdgeLabel: {} XData: [2.5000 1.5000 2.5000 2 3 2 3 3 2.5000 4 3.5000 2.5000] YData: [7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 2 3 2 1] ZData: [0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0] Show all properties
Change the color and marker of the nodes.
p.Marker = 's'; p.NodeColor = 'r';
Increase the size of the nodes.
p.MarkerSize = 7;
Change the line style of the edges.
p.LineStyle = '';
Change the x and y coordinates of the nodes.
p.XData = [2 4 1.5 3.5 1 3 1 2.1 3 2 3.1 4]; p.YData = [3 3 3.5 3.5 4 4 2 2 2 1 1 1];
Input Arguments
LineSpec
— Line style, marker symbol, and color
character vector  string vector
Line style, marker symbol, and color, specified as a character vector or string vector of symbols. The symbols can appear in any order, and you can omit one or more of the characteristics. If you omit the line style, then the plot shows solid lines for the graph edges.
Example: 'or'
uses red circle node markers and red
dashed lines as edges.
Example: 'r*'
uses red asterisk node markers and solid
red lines as edges.
Line Style  Description  Resulting Line 

""  Solid line 

""  Dashed line 

":"  Dotted line 

"."  Dashdotted line 

Marker  Description  Resulting Marker 

"o"  Circle 

"+"  Plus sign 

"*"  Asterisk 

"."  Point 

"x"  Cross 

"_"  Horizontal line 

""  Vertical line 

"square"  Square 

"diamond"  Diamond 

"^"  Upwardpointing triangle 

"v"  Downwardpointing triangle 

">"  Rightpointing triangle 

"<"  Leftpointing triangle 

"pentagram"  Pentagram 

"hexagram"  Hexagram 

Color Name  Short Name  RGB Triplet  Appearance 

"red"  "r"  [1 0 0] 

"green"  "g"  [0 1 0] 

"blue"  "b"  [0 0 1] 

"cyan"
 "c"  [0 1 1] 

"magenta"  "m"  [1 0 1] 

"yellow"  "y"  [1 1 0] 

"black"  "k"  [0 0 0] 

"white"  "w"  [1 1 1] 

ax
— Axes object
object
Axes object. If you do not specify an axes object, then
plot
uses the current axes
(gca
).
NameValue Arguments
Specify optional pairs of arguments as
Name1=Value1,...,NameN=ValueN
, where Name
is
the argument name and Value
is the corresponding value.
Namevalue arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the
pairs does not matter.
Before R2021a, use commas to separate each name and value, and enclose
Name
in quotes.
Example: p =
plot(G,'EdgeColor','r','NodeColor','k','LineStyle','')
The graph properties listed here are only a subset. For a complete list, see GraphPlot Properties.
ArrowSize
— Arrow size
positive value
Note
ArrowSize
only affects the display of directed
graphs created using digraph
.
Arrow size, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting of
'ArrowSize'
and a positive value in point units.
The default value of ArrowSize
is
7
for graphs with 100 or fewer nodes, and
4
for graphs with more than 100 nodes.
Example: 15
EdgeCData
— Color data of edge lines
vector
Color data of edge lines, specified as the commaseparated pair
consisting of 'EdgeCData'
and a vector with length
equal to the number of edges in the graph. The values in
EdgeCData
map linearly to the colors in the
current colormap, resulting in different colors for each edge in the
plotted graph.
EdgeColor
— Edge color
[0 0.4470 0.7410]
(default)  RGB triplet  hexadecimal color code  color name  matrix  'flat'
 'none'
Edge color, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting of
'EdgeColor'
and one of these values:
'none'
— Edges are not drawn.'flat'
— Color of each edge depends on the value ofEdgeCData
.matrix — Each row is an RGB triplet representing the color of one edge. The size of the matrix is
numedges(G)
by3
.RGB triplet, hexadecimal color code, or color name — Edges use the specified color.
RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes are useful for specifying custom colors.
An RGB triplet is a threeelement row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range
[0,1]
; for example,[0.4 0.6 0.7]
.A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (
#
) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from0
toF
. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes'#FF8800'
,'#ff8800'
,'#F80'
, and'#f80'
are equivalent.
Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.
Color Name Short Name RGB Triplet Hexadecimal Color Code Appearance "red"
"r"
[1 0 0]
"#FF0000"
"green"
"g"
[0 1 0]
"#00FF00"
"blue"
"b"
[0 0 1]
"#0000FF"
"cyan"
"c"
[0 1 1]
"#00FFFF"
"magenta"
"m"
[1 0 1]
"#FF00FF"
"yellow"
"y"
[1 1 0]
"#FFFF00"
"black"
"k"
[0 0 0]
"#000000"
"white"
"w"
[1 1 1]
"#FFFFFF"
Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB^{®} uses in many types of plots.
RGB Triplet Hexadecimal Color Code Appearance [0 0.4470 0.7410]
"#0072BD"
[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]
"#D95319"
[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]
"#EDB120"
[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]
"#7E2F8E"
[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]
"#77AC30"
[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]
"#4DBEEE"
[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]
"#A2142F"
Example: plot(G,'EdgeColor','r')
creates a graph
plot with red edges.
EdgeLabel
— Edge labels
{}
(default)  vector  cell array of character vectors  string array
Edge labels, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting of
'EdgeLabel'
and a numeric vector, cell array of
character vectors, or string array. The length of
EdgeLabel
must be equal to the number of edges in
the graph. By default EdgeLabel
is an empty cell
array (no edge labels are displayed).
Example: {'A', 'B', 'C'}
Example: [1 2 3]
Example: plot(G,'EdgeLabel',G.Edges.Weight)
labels
the graph edges with their weights.
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
 cell
 string
Layout
— Graph layout method
'auto'
(default)  'circle'
 'force'
 'layered'
 'subspace'
 'force3'
 'subspace3'
Graph layout method, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting
of 'Layout'
and one of the options in the table. The
table also lists compatible namevalue pairs to further refine each
layout method. See the layout
reference page for
more information on these layoutspecific namevalue pairs.
Option  Description  LayoutSpecific NameValue Pairs 

'auto' (default) 
Automatic choice of layout method based on the size and structure of the graph. 
— 
'circle' 
Circular layout. Places the graph nodes on a circle centered at the origin with radius 1. 

'force' 
Forcedirected layout [1]. Uses attractive forces between adjacent nodes and repulsive forces between distant nodes. 

'layered' 
Layered node layout [2], [3], [4]. Places the graph nodes into a set of layers, revealing hierarchical structure. By default the layers progress downwards (the arrows of a directed acyclic graph point down). 

'subspace' 
Subspace embedding node layout [5]. Plots the graph nodes in a highdimensional embedded subspace, and then projects the positions back into 2D. By default the subspace dimension is either 100 or the total number of nodes, whichever is smaller. 

'force3'  3D forcedirected layout. 

'subspace3'  3D subspace embedding layout. 

Example: plot(G,'Layout','force3','Iterations',10)
Example: plot(G,'Layout','subspace','Dimension',50)
Example: plot(G,'Layout','layered')
LineStyle
— Line style
''
(default)  ''
 ':'
 '.'
 'none'
 cell array  string vector
Line style, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting of
'LineStyle'
and one of the line styles listed in
this table, or as a cell array or string vector of such values. Specify
a cell array of character vectors or string vector to use different line
styles for each edge.
Character(s)  Line Style  Resulting Line 

''  Solid line 

''  Dashed line 

':'  Dotted line 

'.'  Dashdotted line 

'none'  No line  No line 
LineWidth
— Edge line width
0.5
(default)  positive value  vector
Edge line width, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting of
'LineWidth'
and a positive value in point units
or a vector of such values. Specify a vector to use a different line
width for each edge in the graph.
Example: 0.75
Marker
— Node marker symbol
'o'
(default)  character vector  cell array  string vector
Node marker symbol, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting
of 'Marker'
and one of the character vectors listed
in this table, or as a cell array or string vector of such values. The
default is to use circular markers for the graph nodes. Specify a cell
array of character vectors or string vector to use different markers for
each node.
Marker  Description  Resulting Marker 

"o"  Circle 

"+"  Plus sign 

"*"  Asterisk 

"."  Point 

"x"  Cross 

"_"  Horizontal line 

""  Vertical line 

"square"  Square 

"diamond"  Diamond 

"^"  Upwardpointing triangle 

"v"  Downwardpointing triangle 

">"  Rightpointing triangle 

"<"  Leftpointing triangle 

"pentagram"  Pentagram 

"hexagram"  Hexagram 

"none"  No markers  Not applicable 
Example: '+'
Example: 'diamond'
MarkerSize
— Node marker size
positive value  vector
Node marker size, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting of
'MarkerSize'
and a positive value in point units
or as a vector of such values. Specify a vector to use different marker
sizes for each node in the graph. The default value of
MarkerSize
is 4 for graphs with 100 or fewer
nodes, and 2
for graphs with more than 100
nodes.
Example: 10
NodeCData
— Color data of node markers
vector
Color data of node markers, specified as the commaseparated pair
consisting of 'NodeCData'
and a vector with length
equal to the number of nodes in the graph. The values in
NodeCData
map linearly to the colors in the
current colormap, resulting in different colors for each node in the
plotted graph.
NodeColor
— Node color
[0 0.4470 0.7410]
(default)  RGB triplet  hexadecimal color code  color name  matrix  'flat'
 'none'
Node color, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting of
'NodeColor'
and one of these values:
'none'
— Nodes are not drawn.'flat'
— Color of each node depends on the value ofNodeCData
.matrix — Each row is an RGB triplet representing the color of one node. The size of the matrix is
numnodes(G)
by3
.RGB triplet, hexadecimal color code, or color name — Nodes use the specified color.
RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes are useful for specifying custom colors.
An RGB triplet is a threeelement row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range
[0,1]
; for example,[0.4 0.6 0.7]
.A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (
#
) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from0
toF
. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes'#FF8800'
,'#ff8800'
,'#F80'
, and'#f80'
are equivalent.
Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.
Color Name Short Name RGB Triplet Hexadecimal Color Code Appearance "red"
"r"
[1 0 0]
"#FF0000"
"green"
"g"
[0 1 0]
"#00FF00"
"blue"
"b"
[0 0 1]
"#0000FF"
"cyan"
"c"
[0 1 1]
"#00FFFF"
"magenta"
"m"
[1 0 1]
"#FF00FF"
"yellow"
"y"
[1 1 0]
"#FFFF00"
"black"
"k"
[0 0 0]
"#000000"
"white"
"w"
[1 1 1]
"#FFFFFF"
Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.
RGB Triplet Hexadecimal Color Code Appearance [0 0.4470 0.7410]
"#0072BD"
[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]
"#D95319"
[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]
"#EDB120"
[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]
"#7E2F8E"
[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]
"#77AC30"
[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]
"#4DBEEE"
[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]
"#A2142F"
Example: plot(G,'NodeColor','k')
creates a graph
plot with black nodes.
NodeLabel
— Node labels
node IDs (default)  vector  cell array of character vectors  string array
Node labels, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting of
'NodeLabel'
and a numeric vector, cell array of
character vectors, or string array. The length of
NodeLabel
must be equal to the number of nodes in
the graph. By default NodeLabel
is a cell array
containing the node IDs for the graph nodes:
For nodes without names (that is,
G.Nodes
does not contain aName
variable), the node labels are the valuesunique(G.Edges.EndNodes)
contained in a cell array.For named nodes, the node labels are
G.Nodes.Name'
.
Example: {'A', 'B', 'C'}
Example: [1 2 3]
Example: plot(G,'NodeLabel',G.Nodes.Name)
labels the
nodes with their names.
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
 cell
 string
XData
— xcoordinate of nodes
vector
Note
XData
and YData
must be
specified together so that each node has a valid
(x,y) coordinate.
Optionally, you can also specify ZData
for 3D
coordinates.
xcoordinate of nodes, specified as the commaseparated pair
consisting of 'XData'
and a vector with length equal
to the number of nodes in the graph.
YData
— ycoordinate of nodes
vector
Note
XData
and YData
must be
specified together so that each node has a valid
(x,y) coordinate.
Optionally, you can also specify ZData
for 3D
coordinates.
ycoordinate of nodes, specified as the commaseparated pair
consisting of 'YData'
and a vector with length equal
to the number of nodes in the graph.
ZData
— zcoordinate of nodes
vector
Note
XData
and YData
must be
specified together so that each node has a valid
(x,y) coordinate.
Optionally, you can also specify ZData
for 3D
coordinates.
zcoordinate of nodes, specified as the commaseparated pair
consisting of 'ZData'
and a vector with length equal
to the number of nodes in the graph.
Output Arguments
h
— Graph plot
GraphPlot
object
Graph plot, returned as an object. For more information, see GraphPlot
.
References
[1] Fruchterman, T., and E. Reingold. “Graph Drawing by Forcedirected Placement.” Software — Practice & Experience. Vol. 21 (11), 1991, pp. 1129–1164.
[2] Gansner, E., E. Koutsofios, S. North, and K.P Vo. “A Technique for Drawing Directed Graphs.” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. Vol.19, 1993, pp. 214–230.
[3] Barth, W., M. Juenger, and P. Mutzel. “Simple and Efficient Bilayer Cross Counting.” Journal of Graph Algorithms and Applications. Vol.8 (2), 2004, pp. 179–194.
[4] Brandes, U., and B. Koepf. “Fast and Simple Horizontal Coordinate Assignment.” LNCS. Vol. 2265, 2002, pp. 31–44.
[5] Y. Koren. “Drawing Graphs by Eigenvectors: Theory and Practice.” Computers and Mathematics with Applications. Vol. 49, 2005, pp. 1867–1888.
Version History
Introduced in R2015bR2018a: Selfloop display change
Selfloops in the plot of a simple graph are now shaped like a leaf or teardrop. In previous releases, selfloops were displayed as circles.
See Also
Functions
Objects
Properties
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