Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (2024)

Label x-axis

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t = xlabel(___)



xlabel(txt) labels the x-axis of the current axes or standalone visualization. Reissuing the xlabel command replaces the old label with the new label.


xlabel(target,txt) adds the label to the specified target object.


xlabel(___,Name,Value) modifiesthe label appearance using one or more name-value pair arguments.For example, 'FontSize',12 sets the font size to12 points. Specify name-value pair arguments after all other inputarguments. Modifying the label appearance is not supported for alltypes of charts.


t = xlabel(___) returns the text object used as the x-axis label.Use t to make future modifications to the labelafter it is created.


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Label x-Axis

Open Live Script

Display Population beneath the x-axis.


Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (1)

Create Multiline x-Axis Label

Open Live Script

Create a multiline label using a cell array of character vectors.

plot((1:10).^2)xlabel({'Population','(in thousands)'})

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (2)

Include Greek Letters in x-Axis Label

Open Live Script

Include Greek letters and other special characters in the label using TeX markup.

x = linspace(-2*pi,2*pi);y = sin(x);plot(x,y)xlabel('-2\pi \leq x \leq 2\pi')

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (3)

Include Variable Value in x-Axis Label

Open Live Script

Add a label with text and a variable value. Use the num2str function to include a variable value in the label.

plot((1:10).^2) year = 2014;xlabel(['Population for Year ',num2str(year)])

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (4)

Include Superscript and Subscript in Axis Labels

Open Live Script

Use the '^' and '_' characters to include superscripts and subscripts in the axis labels. Use curly braces {} to modify more than one character.

t = linspace(0,1);y = exp(t);plot(t,y)xlabel('t_{seconds}')ylabel('e^t')

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (5)

Change x-Axis Label Font Size and Color

Open Live Script

Use Name,Value pair arguments to set the font size, font weight, and text color properties of the x-axis label.


Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (6)

Label x-Axis of Specific Plot

Open Live Script

Starting in R2019b, you can display a tiling of plots using the tiledlayout and nexttile functions. Call the tiledlayout function to create a 2-by-1 tiled chart layout. Call the nexttile function to create the axes objects ax1 and ax2. Plot data into each axes, and create an x-axis label for the top plot.

tiledlayout(2,1)ax1 = nexttile;plot((1:10).^2)xlabel(ax1,'Population')ax2 = nexttile;plot((1:10).^3)

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (7)

Modify x-Axis Label After Creation

Open Live Script

Label the x-axis and return the text object used as the label.

plot((1:10).^2)t = xlabel('Population');

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (8)

Use t to set text properties of the label after it has been created. For example, set the color of the label to red. Use dot notation to set properties.

t.Color = 'red';

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (9)

Input Arguments

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targetTarget for label
Axes object | TiledChartLayout object | standalone visualization | array of objects

Target for label, specified as one of the following:

  • An Axes object.

  • A TiledChartLayout object.

  • A standalone visualization that has an XLabel property. For example, you can specify a heatmap chart as the target.

  • An array of graphics objects from the preceding list. The objects must belong to the same class. To determine the class, use the class function.

If you do not specify the target, then the xlabel functionadds the label to the graphics object returned by the gca command.


Standalone visualizations do not support modifying the label appearance, such as the color, or returning the text object as an output argument.

Name-Value Arguments

Specify optional pairs of arguments as Name1=Value1,...,NameN=ValueN, where Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name-value arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the pairs does not matter.

Example: xlabel("My Label",Color="red",FontSize=12) creates an x-axis label with red text and a 12-point font.

Before R2021a, use commas to separate each name and value, and enclose Name in quotes.

Example: xlabel("My Label","Color","red","FontSize",12) creates an x-axis label with red text and a 12-point font.


The text properties listed here are only a subset. For a complete list, see Text Properties.

FontSizeFont size
11 (default) | scalar value greater than 0

Font size, specified as a scalar value greater than 0 inpoint units. One point equals 1/72 inch. To change the font units,use the FontUnits property.

Setting the font size properties for the associated axes alsoaffects the label font size. The label font size updates to equalthe axes font size times the label scale factor. The FontSize propertyof the axes contains the axes font size. The LabelFontSizeMultiplier propertyof the axes contains the label scale factor. By default, the axesfont size is 10 points and the scale factor is 1.1, so the x-axislabel font size is 11 points.

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

ColorText color
[0.15 0.15 0.15] (default) | RGB triplet | hexadecimal color code | 'r' | 'g' | 'b' | ...

Text color, 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 string scalar or character vector 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. Therefore, 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"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (10)

"green""g"[0 1 0]"#00FF00"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (11)

"blue""b"[0 0 1]"#0000FF"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (12)

"cyan" "c"[0 1 1]"#00FFFF"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (13)

"magenta""m"[1 0 1]"#FF00FF"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (14)

"yellow""y"[1 1 0]"#FFFF00"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (15)

"black""k"[0 0 0]"#000000"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (16)

"white""w"[1 1 1]"#FFFFFF"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (17)

"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"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (18)

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]"#D95319"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (19)

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]"#EDB120"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (20)

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]"#7E2F8E"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (21)

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]"#77AC30"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (22)

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]"#4DBEEE"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (23)

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]"#A2142F"

Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (24)

Example: 'blue'

Example: [0 0 1]

Example: '#0000FF'

RotationText orientation
scalar value in degrees

Text orientation, specified as a scalar value in degrees. A rotation value of 0 degrees makes the text horizontal. For vertical text, set this property to 90 or -90. Positive values rotate the text counterclockwise. Negative values rotate the text clockwise.

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

Output Arguments

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t — Text object
text object

Text object used as the x-axis label. Use t toaccess and modify properties of the label after it has been created.


  • By default, the Interactions property contains editInteraction so the text can be edited by clicking on the text. To disable this interaction, set the Interactions property of the text object to [].

Version History

Introduced before R2006a

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When you change the Rotation property of the x-axis label in a 2-D plot, the HorizontalAlignment and the VerticalAlignment properties of the label automatically change to prevent overlap between the label and the axes.

See Also


  • ylabel | zlabel | text | title | num2str


  • Text Properties


  • Add Title and Axis Labels to Chart

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Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (25)

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Label x-axis - MATLAB xlabel (2024)


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