TextBox Properties

Text box appearance and behavior

TextBox properties control the appearance and behavior of a TextBox object. By changing property values, you can modify certain aspects of the text box.

Starting in R2014b, you can use dot notation to query and set properties.

t = annotation('textbox');
sz = t.FontSize;
t.FontSize = 12;

If you are using an earlier release, use the get and set functions instead.

Text

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Text to display, specified as a character vector, cell array of character vectors, string array, categorical array, or numeric value. Specify a value according to how you want the text to appear. This table lists the most common situations.

Appearance of TextDescription of ValueExample
One line of text Character vector or 1-by-1 string array.

str = 'My Text'
or
str = "My Text"

Multiple lines of textCell array of character vectors or a string array.

str = {'First line','Second line'};
or
str = ["First line", "Second line"];

Text that includes a numeric variableArray that includes the number converted to a char array. Use num2str to convert the value.

x = 42;
str = ['The value is ',num2str(x)];

Text that includes special characters such as Greek letters or mathematical symbolsArray that includes TeX markup. For a list of supported markup, see the Interpreter property.

str = 'x ranges from 0 to 2\pi'

Note

  • The words default, factory, and remove are reserved words that do not appear in text when quoted as normal characters. To display any of these words individually, precede them with a backslash, such as '\default' or '\remove'.

  • If you specify this property as a categorical array, MATLAB® uses the values in the array, not the categories.

  • If you specify text that contains only a numeric value, the value is converted using sprintf('%g',value). For example, 12345678 displays as 1.23457e+07.

Text color, specified as an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. The default value of [0 0 0] corresponds to black.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element 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 from 0 to F. 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 NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'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'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[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: 'blue'

Example: [0 0 1]

Example: '#0000FF'

Interpretation of text characters, specified as one of these values:

  • 'tex' — Interpret characters using a subset of TeX markup.

  • 'latex' — Interpret characters using LaTeX markup.

  • 'none' — Display literal characters.

TeX Markup

By default, MATLAB supports a subset of TeX markup. Use TeX markup to add superscripts and subscripts, modify the font type and color, and include special characters in the text.

Modifiers remain in effect until the end of the text. Superscripts and subscripts are an exception because they modify only the next character or the characters within the curly braces. When you set the Interpreter property to 'tex', the supported modifiers are as follows.

ModifierDescriptionExample
^{ }Superscript'text^{superscript}'
_{ }Subscript'text_{subscript}'
\bfBold font'\bf text'
\itItalic font'\it text'
\slOblique font (usually the same as italic font)'\sl text'
\rmNormal font'\rm text'
\fontname{specifier}Font name — Replace specifier with the name of a font family. You can use this in combination with other modifiers.'\fontname{Courier} text'
\fontsize{specifier}Font size —Replace specifier with a numeric scalar value in point units.'\fontsize{15} text'
\color{specifier}Font color — Replace specifier with one of these colors: red, green, yellow, magenta, blue, black, white, gray, darkGreen, orange, or lightBlue.'\color{magenta} text'
\color[rgb]{specifier}Custom font color — Replace specifier with a three-element RGB triplet.'\color[rgb]{0,0.5,0.5} text'

This table lists the supported special characters with the Interpreter property set to 'tex'.

Character SequenceSymbolCharacter SequenceSymbolCharacter SequenceSymbol

\alpha

α

\upsilon

υ

\sim

~

\angle

\phi

\leq

\ast

*

\chi

χ

\infty

\beta

β

\psi

ψ

\clubsuit

\gamma

γ

\omega

ω

\diamondsuit

\delta

δ

\Gamma

Γ

\heartsuit

\epsilon

ϵ

\Delta

Δ

\spadesuit

\zeta

ζ

\Theta

Θ

\leftrightarrow

\eta

η

\Lambda

Λ

\leftarrow

\theta

θ

\Xi

Ξ

\Leftarrow

\vartheta

ϑ

\Pi

Π

\uparrow

\iota

ι

\Sigma

Σ

\rightarrow

\kappa

κ

\Upsilon

ϒ

\Rightarrow

\lambda

λ

\Phi

Φ

\downarrow

\mu

µ

\Psi

Ψ

\circ

º

\nu

ν

\Omega

Ω

\pm

±

\xi

ξ

\forall

\geq

\pi

π

\exists

\propto

\rho

ρ

\ni

\partial

\sigma

σ

\cong

\bullet

\varsigma

ς

\approx

\div

÷

\tau

τ

\Re

\neq

\equiv

\oplus

\aleph

\Im

\cup

\wp

\otimes

\subseteq

\oslash

\cap

\in

\supseteq

\supset

\lceil

\subset

\int

\cdot

·

\o

ο

\rfloor

\neg

¬

\nabla

\lfloor

\times

x

\ldots

...

\perp

\surd

\prime

´

\wedge

\varpi

ϖ

\0

\rceil

\rangle

\mid

|

\vee

\langle

\copyright

©

LaTeX Markup

To use LaTeX markup, set the Interpreter property to 'latex'. Use dollar symbols around the text, for example, use '$\int_1^{20} x^2 dx$' for inline mode or '$$\int_1^{20} x^2 dx$$' for display mode.

The displayed text uses the default LaTeX font style. The FontName, FontWeight, and FontAngle properties do not have an effect. To change the font style, use LaTeX markup.

The maximum size of the text that you can use with the LaTeX interpreter is 1200 characters. For multiline text, this reduces by about 10 characters per line.

For more information about the LaTeX system, see The LaTeX Project website at https://www.latex-project.org/.

Font

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Font name, specified as a supported font name or 'FixedWidth'. To display and print text properly, you must choose a font that your system supports. The default font depends on your operating system and locale.

To use a fixed-width font that looks good in any locale, use 'FixedWidth'. The fixed-width font relies on the root FixedWidthFontName property. Setting the root FixedWidthFontName property causes an immediate update of the display to use the new font.

Font size, specified as a scalar value greater than 0 in point units. The default font size depends on the specific operating system and locale. One point equals 1/72 inch. To change the font units, use the FontUnits property.

Example: 12

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | logical

Character thickness, specified as 'normal' or 'bold'.

MATLAB uses the FontWeight property to select a font from those available on your system. Not all fonts have a bold weight. Therefore, specifying a bold font weight can still result in the normal font weight.

Character slant, specified as 'normal' or 'italic'.

Not all fonts have both font styles. Therefore, the italic font might look the same as the normal font.

Font size units, specified as one of the values in this table.

UnitsDescription
'points'Points. One point equals 1/72 inch.
'inches'Inches.
'centimeters'Centimeters.
'normalized' Interpret font size as a fraction of the parent container height, typically a figure. If you resize the container, the font size modifies accordingly. For example, if the FontSize is 0.1 in normalized units, then the text is 1/10 of the container height.
'pixels'

Pixels.

Starting in R2015b, distances in pixels are independent of your system resolution on Windows® and Macintosh systems:

  • On Windows systems, a pixel is 1/96th of an inch.

  • On Macintosh systems, a pixel is 1/72nd of an inch.

On Linux® systems, the size of a pixel is determined by your system resolution.

If you set both the font size and the font units in one function call, you must set the FontUnits property first so that the axes correctly interprets the specified font size.

Text Box

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Option to fit the box width and height to the text, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Resize the text box to fit the text.

  • 'off' — Wrap the text to fit the width of the text box. Wrapping can cause some of the text to extend below the text box.

If you resize a text box when in plot edit mode, or if you change the Position property, then the FitBoxToText property changes to 'off'.

Color of box outline, specified as a three-element RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. The default value of [0 0 0] corresponds to black.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element 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 from 0 to F. 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 NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'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'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[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: 'blue'

Example: [0 0 1]

Example: '#0000FF'

Color of text box background, specified as an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element 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 from 0 to F. 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 NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'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'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[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: 'blue'

Example: [0 0 1]

Example: '#0000FF'

Transparency of the background color, specified as a scalar value between 0 and 1. If the value is 1, then the color is opaque. To add transparency, set the property to a value closer to 0, where 0 is completely transparent.

Line style of box outline, specified as one of the options listed in this table.

Line StyleDescription
'-'Solid line
'--'Dashed line
':'Dotted line
'-.'Dash-dotted line
'none'Box outline is invisible

Width of box outline, specified as a scalar numeric value in point units. One point equals 1/72 inch.

Example: 1.5

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64

The space around the text within the text box, specified as a scalar numeric value in pixel units.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | logical

Position

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Size and location, specified as a four-element vector of the form [x_begin y_begin length height]. The first two elements specify the coordinates for the lower-left corner of the text box. The second two elements specify the length and height of the text box.

By default, the units are normalized to the figure. The lower-left corner of the figure maps to (0,0), and the upper-right corner maps to (1,1). To change the units, use the Units property.

Note

If the FitBoxToText property is set to 'on' and you change the String property, then the Position property might not reflect the latest changes until the next time the screen refreshes. To ensure that the position value reflects the latest changes, call drawnow before querying the position when working in a script or function.

Example: [0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5]

Position units, specified as one of the values in this table.

UnitsDescription
'normalized' (default)Normalized with respect to the figure, uipanel, or uitab that contains the annotation. The lower-left corner of the container maps to (0,0) and the upper-right corner maps to (1,1).
'inches'Inches.
'centimeters'Centimeters.
'characters'

Based on the default system font character size.

  • Character width = width of letter x.

  • Character height = distance between the baselines of two lines of text.

'points'Points. One point equals 1/72 inch.
'pixels'

Pixels.

Starting in R2015b, distances in pixels are independent of your system resolution on Windows and Macintosh systems:

  • On Windows systems, a pixel is 1/96th of an inch.

  • On Macintosh systems, a pixel is 1/72nd of an inch.

On Linux systems, the size of a pixel is determined by your system resolution.

All units are measured from the lower-left corner of the figure window.

This property affects the Position property. If you change the units, then it is good practice to return it to the default value after completing your computation to prevent affecting other functions that assume Units is set to the default value.

If you specify the Position and Units properties as Name,Value pairs when creating the object, then the order of specification matters. If you want to define the position with particular units, then you must set the Units property before the Position property.

Horizontal alignment of the text within the text box, specified as one of the values in this table.

ValueResult
'left'

'center'

'right'

Vertical alignment of the text within the text box, specified as one of the values in this table.

ValueResult
'top'

'middle'

'bottom'

Note

The 'cap' and 'baseline' values are not recommended. Use the 'top' and 'bottom' values, respectively, instead.

Introduced before R2006a