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Pankaj
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Why this error with `axis`

Asked by Pankaj
on 9 Oct 2018
Latest activity Edited by Stephen Cobeldick on 9 Oct 2018
>> axis('limits',[0 60 0 50 0.13 0.23],'style', 'square')
The above produces following error error-
Error using axis (line 2)
Unknown command option limits.
where as following does not
axis([0 60 0 50 0.13 0.23], 'square')
From here limits and style, both are legitimate properties.

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2 Answers

Star Strider
Answer by Star Strider
on 9 Oct 2018

‘... limits and style, both are legitimate properties’
They are. However you have to call them separately:
figure
surf( ... )
axis([0 60 0 50 0.13 0.23])
axis('square')

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"However you have to call them separately:"
Nope, this is incorrect.
"It appears that it was not designed to accommodate multiple arguments"
Actually it is, and this is clearly stated in the axis help.
The axis help states: "You can combine multiple input arguments together, for example, axis image ij. The options are evaluated from left to right. Subsequent options can overwrite properties set by prior ones."
Pankaj
on 9 Oct 2018
May be I would. Anyways, thanks @strider.
Star Strider
on 9 Oct 2018
My pleasure.
Note that I was addressing the name-value pair argument issue, not combining multiple commands in one axis call, that I have also done successfully in the past.

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Answer by Stephen Cobeldick on 9 Oct 2018
Edited by Stephen Cobeldick on 9 Oct 2018

The actual answer is that you can combine multiple inputs, but that those inputs are not name-value inputs (like many other MATLAB functions use): for axis you only need the values by themselves:
axis([0,60,0,50,0.13,0.23],'square')
The reason names are not required is because none of the inputs are ambiguous, what their purposes are. It is worth noting that some other functions also use this method of supplying multiple input arguments, in particular regexp, regexpi, regexprep, where the input arguments are unambiguous in any order. The functions which and load also allow (at least some of) their options to be given in different orders, although this is not documented. There might be other functions...
Nowhere in the axis help does it mention using names, as you are doing.
However the axis help does clearly state that you can use multiple inputs: "You can combine multiple input arguments together, for example, axis image ij. The options are evaluated from left to right. Subsequent options can overwrite properties set by prior ones."

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Pankaj
on 9 Oct 2018
I know that combine multiple inputs but we are habitual of using key-values and most of the functions do use key-values. And that is the source of my confusion, why MathWorks has designed this function in peculiar way.
"why MathWorks has designed this function in peculiar way."
For the "convenience", I suspect. But if you want to know why, you would have to ask its author.
As I noted in my answer, other MATLAB functions also use this input method, as values without names (in particular the regexp family of functions).

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