MATLAB Answers

Change GridSize of existing non empty TiledChartLayout object

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Gabriele
Gabriele on 6 Jun 2021
Commented: Adam Danz on 7 Jun 2021
Hello all,
I have a question regarding managing tiles layout.
I would like to change the organization of the layout after the tiles have already been created (for instance, for adding or removing a tile).
I thought I could just modify the GridSize property of the TiledChartLayout object after getting its handle.
However, when I try this approach, I get:
"Unable to set GridSize when TiledChartLayout is not empty"
So, it is unclear to me how to actually manage this situation.
Dummy example:
figure;
tl=tiledlayout(1,1); %first step-just one plot
nexttile(1);
plot([1 2 3],[4 5 6],'-o');
Imagine that now, after creating the figure, I would like to add a second tile, organising tiles in 2 rows and one column.
I was thinking I could simply do:
tl.GridSize=[2 1];
nexttile(2)
plot([1 2 3],-[4 5 6],'-s');
but it is not working. I get an error when trying to change the grid size (tl.GridSize=[2 1])
Unable to set GridSize when TiledChartLayout is not empty
If just try to add a new tile without trying to change the grid size (i.e. using directly nexttile(2)), I get the error:
Error using nexttile
The tile does not fit in the layout.
Any suggestion how to manage this?
Thank you,
Gabriele

Accepted Answer

Adam Danz
Adam Danz on 7 Jun 2021
How to change grid layout of tiledlayout in existing figure?
If the tiledlayout was generated with the flow arrangement then simply call nexttile to add new axes.
If the tiledlayout is fixed and the source code is not available or cannot be changed, then you can copy the tiles to a new figure with your desired layout.
Create base figure with 2x2 layout
fig = figure();
tlo = tiledlayout(fig,2,2);
for i = 1:4
nexttile()
x = linspace(-i*pi,i*pi);
plot(x, sin(x).*rand(size(x)))
title(sprintf('Tile %d',i))
xlabel(sprintf('X%d',i))
ylabel(sprintf('Y%d',i))
end
linkaxes
figure(fig) % show figure
Copy tiles to new figure with 3x2 layout and add 1 tile
originalFig is the figure handle to original figure. Get the handle using gcf or when you open the figure using openfig().
originalFig = gcf();
% Get tile (aka axes) handles
ax = flip(findobj(fig,'type','axes'));
% Create new figure with new tile grid
newfig = figure();
tlo = tiledlayout(newfig, 2,3);
% copy existing axes from original figure to new figure
newax = gobjects(tlo.GridSize);
tempax = gobjects(size(ax));
for i = 1:numel(ax)
tempax(i) = nexttile();
newax(i) = copyobj(ax(i),newfig);
set(newax(i), 'units', tempax(i).Units, 'Position', tempax(i).Position)
tempax(i).Visible = 'off';
end
% add new tile
nexttile()
plot(magic(5),'-')
% This is optional but must come after adding additional tiles.
delete(tempax)

More Answers (2)

Scott MacKenzie
Scott MacKenzie on 6 Jun 2021
Try using flow for the grid size...
tiledlayout('flow');
nexttile;
plot([1 2 3],[4 5 6],'-ob');
pause(2);
nexttile;
plot([2 1 3]',[4 5 6]','-dr');
First plot:
After 2 seconds:
  6 Comments
Adam Danz
Adam Danz on 7 Jun 2021
I would like to be able to redefine the grid size too but I don't think the drawback is as bad as you do.
I've had to reorganize figures like this in the past. There are workarounds. I'll add an answer to share the solution I've used.

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Gabriele
Gabriele on 7 Jun 2021
Thank you Adam for the suggestion on a workaround.
I do not know if I'm missing something, but I have the feeling the same result can be achieved by changing the Parent of each tile from the old tiledlayout to a new tiledlayout...
%Create basic figure as you did:
fig = figure();
tlo_original = tiledlayout(fig,2,2);
for i = 1:4
nexttile()
x = linspace(-i*pi,i*pi);
plot(x, sin(x).*rand(size(x)))
title(sprintf('Tile %d',i))
xlabel(sprintf('X%d',i))
ylabel(sprintf('Y%d',i))
end
linkaxes
figure(fig) % show figure
%Create a new figure with new layout
fig_new=figure;
tlo_new=tiledlayout(fig_new,3,2);
ax = findobj(fig,'type','axes'); %get handles of original axes in old figure
%change parent to new tiled layout for all axes
for ja=1:numel(ax)
ax(ja).Parent=tlo_new;
end
figure(fig_new);
% add new tile - as you did
nexttile()
plot(magic(5),'-')
Is there anything wrong for later use of the new TiledLayout in just changing the Parent property as I did?
  1 Comment
Adam Danz
Adam Danz on 7 Jun 2021
That approach is fine, too. Just don't accidentally over-write the original figure by saving it (assuming the figure was opened). To reduce the chances of that happening you could close the original figure after the loop or, better yet, use onCleanup to close the figure in the event of an error. You might even want to open the figure in invisible mode using openfig(___,visibility).

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