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What's the difference of tiledlayout and subplot?

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Xiaobo Dong
Xiaobo Dong on 6 Jun 2021
Edited: Adam Danz on 8 Jun 2021
The function subplot can already make tiled layout. Why tiledlayout is introduced in 2019b?
  1 Comment
dpb
dpb on 6 Jun 2021
Same reason Proctor & Gamble introduces new, improved versions of Tide detergent.

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Answers (1)

Adam Danz
Adam Danz on 6 Jun 2021
Edited: Adam Danz on 8 Jun 2021
tiledlayout has additional features not supported in subplot. Changing subplot would cause backward compatibility issues.
Demo
Two blocks below produce nearly the same figure using tiledlayout and subplot while using as few lines as possible without sacrificing best-practices.
A subplot/tile will be added for each column of x but the number of columns of data are unknown!
Produce data
rng(210606) % for reproducibility of this dataset
n = randi([4,9]); % number of subplots/tiles needed
x = randn(200,n) .* (1./10.^[0:n-1]);
tiledlayout
fig = figure();
tlo = tiledlayout(fig, 'flow');
arrayfun(@(col)histogram(nexttile(tlo),x(:,col)),1:n); % *see below
title(tlo,'Global title')
ylabel(tlo, 'Global ylabel')
xlabel(tlo, 'Global xlabel')
The arrayfun line is the same as this loop:
for i = 1:n
ax = nexttile(tlo);
histogram(ax, x(:,i));
end
subplot
The label placement took a long time to figure out relative to the tiledlayout example.
fig = figure();
nRows = ceil(sqrt(n)); % compute number of subplot rows
nCols = ceil(n/nRows); % compute number of subplot columns
arrayfun(@(col)histogram(subplot(nRows,nCols,col),x(:,col)),1:n); % *see below
sgtitle('Global title')
annotation(fig,'textarrow',[.15 .15], [.52 .52], ... % <-- estimated margin
'String','Global ylabel',...
'TextRotation',90,...
'FontSize',12,...
'HorizontalAlignment','Center',...
'VerticalAlignment','Middle',...
'HeadStyle','none',...
'LineStyle','none',...
'TextMargin', .1);
annotation(fig,'textarrow',[.6 .6], [.03 .03], ... % <-- estimated margin
'String','Global xlabel',...
'FontSize',12,...
'HorizontalAlignment','Center',...
'VerticalAlignment','Middle',...
'HeadStyle','none',...
'LineStyle','none',...
'TextMargin', .1);
The arrayfun line is the same as this loop:
for i = 1:n
ax = subplot(nRows,nCols,i);
histogram(ax, x(:,i));
end

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