How to set disableDef​aultIntera​ctivity for all axes?

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KAE on 9 Apr 2019
Edited: Andrew Peters on 27 Jan 2022
In Matlab 2018b and later, the cursor is set to automatically interact with the plot. This messes up my plots (accidentally moving axes or adding unwanted data tips), so I would like to turn it off. You can do this for a specific axis ax with disableDefaultInteractivity(ax). However I would like to apply this to all axes I ever make. I know you can set preferences for some axis properties as follows,
set(0,'DefaultAxesColor', 'none');
But the following attemps did not work,
disableDefaultInteractivity(0) % Error: Input must be an axes handle
set(0, 'DefaultInteractivity', 'off') % Error: Too many output arguments
Is there another way to disable the axis interactivity for all axes?

Accepted Answer

Dhanashree Mohite
Dhanashree Mohite on 12 Apr 2019
In order to disable default interactivity for all created axes, you can use the following command:
>> set(groot,'defaultAxesCreateFcn','disableDefaultInteractivity(gca)')
But this setting will be reset when MATLAB is restarted.
Benjamin Kraus
Benjamin Kraus on 19 Nov 2020
There is a bug with this solution that will cause some strange and unexpected behaviors.
The issue is the call to gca, which will only work if the axes has HandleVisibility set to 'on' and if the parent figure of the axes also has HandleVisibility set to 'on'. Otherwise, gca will create a new axes instead of operating on the axes you think it should. This is particularly troublesome for App Designer, because the figure has HandleVisibility set to 'off' by default.
The better way to achieve the same goal is to use a function handle and set the DefaultAxesCreateFcn like this:
set(groot, 'defaultAxesCreateFcn', @(ax,~) disableDefaultInteractivity(ax))
The difference here is that the axes handle itself is passed directly to disableDefaultInteractivity so it is no longer dependent upon gca working.

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More Answers (3)

Bruno Luong
Bruno Luong on 14 Sep 2019
For R2019b all the tricks found previously no longer work.
I found this one does the trick
set(groot,'defaultAxesCreateFcn', ...
@(ax,varargin) start(timer('StartDelay',1,'ExecutionMode','singleShot','TimerFcn',@(varargin) axtoolbar(ax,{}))));
You might put it in startup.m file
if ~verLessThan('MATLAB','9.7')
set(groot,'defaultAxesCreateFcn', ...
@(ax,varargin) start(timer('StartDelay',1,'ExecutionMode','singleShot','TimerFcn',@(varargin) axtoolbar(ax,{}))));
KAE on 17 Sep 2019
Well I certainly appreciate that you shared what you tried! Sounds like a Yair Altman level question.

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m miozzi
m miozzi on 22 May 2020
Yes, Yair!!
In there is a suggestion about disabling unwanted interactivity behaviors while preserving zoom and pan (but you can choose what you like...):
hAxes.Interactions = [zoomInteraction regionZoomInteraction rulerPanInteraction];
hAxes.Toolbar = [];
The first attempts to apply the suggestion failed like described by Bruno, because of the reset of the default axes Interaction property at line 53 of clo.m (<MATLABROOT>\toolbox\matlab\graphics\private\clo.m).
By adding lines 54 and 55 in clo.m (see below) everything works like requested.
This is encouraging, but a serious analysis of the side effects was not done yet.
52 obj = handle(obj); % In case of double handle
53 obj.clo(hsave, (do_reset == 1)); % Call clo method on graphics class
54 obj.Interactions = [zoomInteraction regionZoomInteraction rulerPanInteraction];
55 obj.Toolbar = [];

Andrew Peters
Andrew Peters on 27 Jan 2022
Edited: Andrew Peters on 27 Jan 2022
disableDefaultInteractivity didn't work for me on R2021b, but putting this into startup did:
set(groot,'defaultAxesCreateFcn', @(ax,~) set(ax,'Interactions',[]));

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