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Is it possible to viewing the "figure" window on second display?

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Dmitriy Shaulskiy
Dmitriy Shaulskiy on 24 Sep 2011
Commented: jasongrig on 26 Nov 2020
I have two displays connected to my PC. Is it possible to define which of to displays will be viewed "figure" window?

Accepted Answer

Jan on 25 Sep 2011
Edited: Jan on 2 Sep 2020
You could create a function, which open figures on the 2nd monitor if it is available, otherwise the 1st monitor is used:
% [EDITED, 2018-06-05, typos fixed]
function FigHandle = figure2(varargin)
MP = get(0, 'MonitorPositions');
if size(MP, 1) == 1 % Single monitor
FigH = figure(varargin{:});
else % Multiple monitors
% Catch creation of figure with disabled visibility:
indexVisible = find(strncmpi(varargin(1:2:end), 'Vis', 3));
if ~isempty(indexVisible)
paramVisible = varargin(indexVisible(end) + 1);
paramVisible = get(0, 'DefaultFigureVisible');
Shift = MP(2, 1:2);
FigH = figure(varargin{:}, 'Visible', 'off');
set(FigH, 'Units', 'pixels');
pos = get(FigH, 'Position');
pause(0.02); % See Stefan Glasauer's comment
set(FigH, 'Position', [pos(1:2) + Shift, pos(3:4)], ...
'Visible', paramVisible);
if nargout ~= 0
FigHandle = FigH;
Another tool to move a (visible) figure to another monitor - under Windows only: FEX: WindowAPI
jasongrig on 26 Nov 2020
on my macbook running R2018b this code does not work. The figure still opens on the main monitor, just now it is moved to the top right side of it. size(MP,1) = 2, when I checked

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More Answers (3)

the cyclist
the cyclist on 24 Sep 2011
Yes, effectively. One way to do it is by defining the 'Position' property of the figure. If you create your figure, then type
>> get(gcf)
You will see the current properties of the figure, including the Position property. You can then set that position to be whatever you want, e.g.
>> set(gcf,'Position',[500 500 400 300])
The arrangement of your second display will determine where you need to "push" the figure to. For example, with my setup, I actually had to make the x-position (first value in the vector) a negative value to push it onto my second display.
  1 Comment
Jonatan Dias
Jonatan Dias on 25 Sep 2017
Thank you very much for your answer.
Extremely easy!
Regards, Jonatan.

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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 24 Sep 2011
Take your pick of answers:
  1. Yes, but you would not like the result; OR
  2. No, but you can make it work fairly well
The respective methods:
1. set(0,'DefaultFigurePosition', [x y w h])
where x, y, w, and h are fixed x and y coordinates and w and h are fixed width and height. You can work out the coordinates to use by examining
which is documented over here.
The reason you probably wouldn't like this is that all figures will appear at that exact position and size (on top of whatever was there before) unless the code overrides the position. And there are a bunch of things that are actually figures. Including all GUI elements and including all dialog boxes.
2. Instead of setting the default figure position for everything, either right when you create the figure or right afterwards, set its Position property to be where you want it (and the size you want) on the second monitor, having used the MonitorPositions root property to find the proper range.
Warning Either way, it is not possible to getframe() a figure that is on the second monitor. This may affect your ability to saveas() or print(). Some routines detect the situation and temporarily move the figure on to the main screen and move it back afterwards, but other routines just complain.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 25 Sep 2011
Unfortunately I cannot test dual monitors.
There is a private function used by the dialog boxes, something about "getnicedialogposition"; my access to my server is down again today so I cannot read the source at this time.

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thalia on 17 Sep 2019
Simplifying Adan's script...
close all
%place it wherever you want in the 1st monitor
%check units
%retreive location info
pos1 = f.Position
close all
%place it wherever you want in the 1st monitor
pos2 = f.Position
close all
%Evaluate the following code or add it in the startup.m for permanent settings
%in case you want to add it permanently, replace the pos1,2 with the values (hard-coded)
MP = get(0, 'MonitorPositions');
if size(MP, 1) == 1 % 1 monitor
set(0, 'defaultFigureUnits', 'normalized','defaultFigurePosition', pos1)
else %2nd monitor
set(0, 'defaultFigureUnits', 'normalized','defaultFigurePosition', pos2)

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