# How to reorder legend entries with plot children

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Enoch23 on 29 Oct 2019
Answered: Kris Govertsen on 15 Jan 2021
Hello,
I have a loop creating some plots and on some of them I would like to change the order of the legend entries. I came across a method on StackOverflow, however, it doens't seem to work.
I tried the example in excaza 's answer without success.
When I type in lh.PlotChildren(neworder) I get
>> lh.PlotChildren(neworder)
ans =
4×1 Line array:
Line (y = 3*x)
Line (y = x)
Line (y = x.^2)
Line (y = 2*x)
which is the correct order. However, when assigning
>> lh.PlotChildren = lh.PlotChildren(neworder)
lh =
Legend (y = x, y = 2*x, y = 3*x, y = x.^2) with properties:
String: {'y = x' 'y = 2*x' 'y = 3*x' 'y = x.^2'}
Location: 'northeast'
Orientation: 'vertical'
FontSize: 9
Position: [0.7274 0.7282 0.1589 0.1726]
Units: 'normalized'
Show all properties
it doesn't work. Everything stays as is.
Am I missing something?
Kyle Marquis on 19 Sep 2020
Also having the same problems, and the solution given by Sebastian Bomberg is not helpful. Did it work for you?Anyone else have a solution?

Sebastian Bomberg on 29 Oct 2019
You can reorder the children of the axes:
ax = gca;
ax.Children = ax.Children(neworder);
Kyle Marquis on 19 Sep 2020
I am having the same issues as Enoch23, and your "solution" has not helped. Are you able to show how this re-orders the legend as asked in the question?

Kyle Marquis on 19 Sep 2020
Edited: Kyle Marquis on 19 Sep 2020
I found a solution that can be used to re-order legend entries without messing up the order in which they are plotted on top of each other (But it doesn't involve plot children). I found it from https://matplotlib.org/1.3.1/users/legend_guide.html , and it's really simple, all you need to do is call
legend([p2, p1], ["line 2", "line 1"])
with p1 being the line object created when you plot
p1 = plot(...)
and together with uistack, I am able to change which objects get plotted on top of which, but then reorder the legend so it makes sense. Example
uistack(psave_d,'top') % Brings certain line to front
legend([psave_a, psave_b, psave_g, psave_c, psave_d, psave_e, psave_f, psave_pde], ["k_y=0.000001 W/m/K","k_y=0.0001 W/m/K","k_y=0.001 W/m/K","k_y=0.01 W/m/K","k_y=0.1 W/m/K","k_y=1 W/m/K","k_y=10 W/m/K","Isothermal PDE Numerical Model"])
If anyone needs more detail, I can gladly provide it. Cheers

Kris Govertsen on 15 Jan 2021
This is how I was able to change the order of the legend on a figure with multiple subplots of area plots:
Before:
I want the order of the legend to follow the order of the colors in the area plot
% a is my figure
% If I type
If I type the following into the command window: a.Children... it returns:
% a.Children
%
% ans =
%
% 5×1 graphics array:
%
% Legend (Grid, VRFB error, VRFB Power, VRFB Energy, LIB error, LIB Power, LIB Energy, Solar, Tidal)
% Axes (Tidal RES)
% Axes (Solar PV RES)
% Axes (VRFB Cost)
% Axes (LIB Cost)
So a.Children(1) is my legend!
% Re-order Legend
lbl = a.Children(1).String; % Retrieve legend labels
numlbl = length(lbl); % Determine number of lables
order = sort(1:1:numlbl,'descend'); % Create array of label numbers in descending order
newlbl = lbl(order); % Create new labels in descending order
legend(findobj(a.Children(2),'Type','area'),newlbl) % Set the legend to follow the new labels
hope this helps!

R2019a

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