The default Matlab default line spec and colormaps are astoundingly crude. This function creates distinguishable colors by spacing them out ~equally in *perceptive* space, not in RGB space. It is based off the research of professor Cynthia Brewer (colorbrewer!) but amazingly easy to use.
This function creates an Nx3 array of N [R B G] colors
These can be used to plot lots of lines with distinguishable and nice looking colors.
lineStyles = linspecer(N); makes N colors for you to use: lineStyles(ii,:)
colormap(linspecer); set your colormap to have easily distinguishable colors and a pleasing aesthetic
lineStyles = linspecer(N,'qualitative'); forces the colors to all be distinguishable (up to 12)
lineStyles = linspecer(N,'sequential'); forces the colors to vary along a spectrum
Examples demonstrating the colors.
% LINE COLORS
X = linspace(0,pi*3,1000);
Y = bsxfun(@(x,n)sin(x+2*n*pi/N), X.', 1:N);
C = linspecer(N);
% SIMPLER LINE COLOR EXAMPLE
N = 6; X = linspace(0,pi*3,1000);
C = linspecer(N)
Y = sin(X+2*ii*pi/N);
% COLORMAP EXAMPLE
A = rand(15);
figure; imagesc(A); % default colormap
figure; imagesc(A); colormap(linspecer); % linspecer colormap
Credits and where the function came from:
The colors are largely taken from:
http://colorbrewer2.org and Cynthia Brewer, Mark Harrower and The Pennsylvania State University
She studied this from a phsychometric perspective and crafted the colors
I made choices from the many there to decide the nicest once for plotting lines in Matlab. I also made a small change to one of the colors I thought was a bit too bright. In addition some interpolation is going on for the sequential line styles. An Apache-Style Software License is included in the file.
Jonathan C. Lansey (2022). Beautiful and distinguishable line colors + colormap (https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/42673-beautiful-and-distinguishable-line-colors-colormap), MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .
MATLAB Release Compatibility
Platform CompatibilityWindows macOS Linux
Inspired: paruly, Maximally Distinct Color Generator, CubeHelix Colormap Generator: Beautiful and Versatile!, ColorBrewer: Attractive and Distinctive Colormaps, Matlab 2048, rgb2hex and hex2rgb, MatPlotLib Perceptually Uniform Colormaps, Efficient 2D histogram, no toolboxes needed, Hyperplot Tools
Community Treasure Hunt
Find the treasures in MATLAB Central and discover how the community can help you!Start Hunting!