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Draw stack order for yyaxis

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Charles Brown
Charles Brown on 20 Apr 2016
Commented: Calvin He on 1 Dec 2022
Hello, I'm trying to create an overlaid bar plot using yyaxis. I cannot figure out how to change the stacking order of the two axis objects (and their constituents). The default behavior seems to be that the right yyaxis and its children are above the left yyaxis. Due to the content of my plot, I'd prefer the opposite.
For example, the following script generates two bar plots that are overlaid. One is taller and wider and I'd like it to appear in the background but with its axis on the right side.
backgroundData = [100 75 80 150];
foregroundData = [10 30 25 64];
yyaxis left
ylabel('Foreground Axis')
yyaxis right
ylabel('Background Axis')
I've experimented with uistack, but can't get anything to stick. Of course swapping the left and right axes fixes the issue but I'd rather not do that. Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Accepted Answer

Charles Brown
Charles Brown on 20 Apr 2016
I have created a work-around using manually-created axes:
backgroundData = [100 75 80 150];
foregroundData = [10 30 25 64];
% This works because ax1 is created AFTER ax2!
ax2 = axes('Position',[0.1300 0.1100 0.7750 0.8150]);
ax1 = axes('Position',[0.1300 0.1100 0.7750 0.8150]);
% Plotting the two bars on their axes. The order here doesn't matter.
% Need to move the Y-axis after plotting the foreground data for some
% reason.
ax2.YAxisLocation = 'right';
ylabel(ax2,'Background Axis')
ylabel(ax1,'Foreground Axis')
% Now we have to set the background of the front axis to be transparent.
set(gca, 'Color', 'None')

More Answers (2)

Kouichi C. Nakamura
Kouichi C. Nakamura on 23 Apr 2021
Just to make it more noticeable, I copy the example here:
days = 0:5:35;
conc = [515 420 370 250 135 120 60 20];
temp = [29 23 27 25 20 23 23 17];
yyaxis right
b = bar(days, temp, 'FaceColor', [0.8 0.8 0.8]);
yyaxis left
p = plot(days, conc, 'LineWidth', 2);
This is the trick!
set(gca, 'SortMethod', 'depth')
Calvin He
Calvin He on 1 Dec 2022
The problem is if you have multiple plots for the left axis, this reverses the stacking on those, and addes a white border around them.
I am trying to move the dotted gray lines to the back (plotted in yyaxis right)
set(gca,'sortmethod','depth') does this:

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Mike Garrity
Mike Garrity on 20 Apr 2016
I'm afraid that feature didn't make it into this initial release of yyaxis. As you've noted, the contents of the right side are always on top of the contents of the left side.
I'd be interested in knowing where you first looked when you were trying to figure out how to switch it. , because we've been trying to figure out what the most natural API would be for this.
Joey on 5 Nov 2018
please enable uistack to allow my yyaxis right curves to be in the background

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