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How can I insert a title over a group of subplots?

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I would like to place a title over a group of subplots.  How can I do this?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 15 Mar 2021
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 15 Mar 2021
Starting in R2019b, you can use the tiledlayout and nexttile functions to create a configurable tiling of plots. The configuration options include: 
  • Control over the spacing between the plots and around the edges of the layout 
  • An option for a shared title at the top of the layout 
  • Options for shared x- and y-axis labels 
  • An option to control whether the tiling has a fixed size or variable size that can reflow 
For more information, see Combine Multiple Plots
Starting in R2018b, you can use the sgtitle function to add a title to a group of subplots. For example: 
subplot(2,2,1) 
title('First Subplot') 
subplot(2,2,2) 
title('Second Subplot') 
subplot(2,2,3) 
title('Third Subplot') 
subplot(2,2,4) 
title('Fourth Subplot') 
sgtitle('Subplot Grid Title') 
For more information on the sgtitle function, see: https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/ref/sgtitle.html  
In previous releases (before R2018b), you can create the appearance of a super title by creating the subplots in a panel and adding a title to the panel. For an example, see: https://www.mathworks.com/help/releases/R2018a/matlab/creating_plots/combine-multiple-plots.html#d119e2898 
  7 Comments

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More Answers (10)

jcjaimes
jcjaimes on 15 Dec 2016
Suptitle does the job
x=1:0.01:10;
subplot(2,2,1); plot(sin(x))
subplot(2,2,2); plot(cos(x))
subplot(2,2,3); plot(cos(x.^2))
subplot(2,2,4); plot(sin(x.^2))
suptitle('I am a super title')
  6 Comments
Thiviya Navaneethan
Thiviya Navaneethan on 17 Mar 2021
Hi Sourav,
Please try using sgtitle function, see: https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/ref/sgtitle.html
If this does not help, contact MathWorks Technical support. They may be able to assist you further. https://www.mathworks.com/support/contact_us.html

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Paul Huxel
Paul Huxel on 9 Oct 2018
Starting in R2018b, you can use sgtitle to add a title to subplot grids:

Jonathan Beard
Jonathan Beard on 9 May 2017
Here's a solution that doesn't require additional functions.
figure;
subplot(2, 1, 1);
plot(nan, nan);
subplot(2, 1, 2);
plot(nan, nan);
currentFigure = gcf;
title(currentFigure.Children(end), 'blah');
  7 Comments
PROSANJEET SARKAR
PROSANJEET SARKAR on 27 Mar 2020
sgtitile() function you cane used it provide in 2018 verison of matlab

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Anders Bertelsen
Anders Bertelsen on 13 Sep 2017
Edited: Stephen Cobeldick on 13 Sep 2017
figure;
subplot(1, 2, 1);
plot(nan, nan);
subplot(1, 2, 2);
plot(nan, nan);
ha = axes('Position',[0 0 1 1],'Xlim',[0 1],'Ylim',[0 1],'Box','off','Visible','off','Units','normalized', 'clipping' , 'off');
text(0.5, 0.98,'Title')
  2 Comments
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 11 May 2019
There are multiple possibilities. The ones I can think of off-hand include:
  • create an axes for each of the images, and an axes for each of the titles above and each of the titles to the side. Using subplot() for this purpose is not great, as you do not want the axes to all be the same size. Each axes could been panned, scrolled, zoomed, or data cursored individiually.
  • create the top left axes with room for title and ylabel and an image. Create 3 axes below that with room for ylabel and an image. Create top right axes with room for title and image. Create three axes below that with room for an image. Using subplot() for this purpose is not great, as you do not want the axes to all be the same size. Each axes could been panned, scrolled, zoomed, or data cursored individiually.
  • create a 4 x 2 array of axes the same size, all large enough to accomodate title and ylabel. Then carefully "tuck" the axes in so only the wanted parts show. Using subplot() for this might not be bad, but you will need to move the axes carefully. Each axes could been panned, scrolled, zoomed, or data cursored individiually.
  • Use montage or similar to create a 4 x 2 image array and display it in an axes that you put appropriate text labels on. It would not be possible to scroll or pan or zoom the images individually, and you would need extra work to data cursor them individually. On the other hand, a single movable graphics cursor covering multiple images would become easier than in the other approaches mentioned above

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Brad Stiritz
Brad Stiritz on 9 Sep 2018
>Answer by MathWorks Support Team on 26 Apr 2010
>It is not possible to put a title over a group of subplots in MATLAB..
With respect, this is not a helpful comment, as it's apparently not true. It is possible, just not with built-in core Matlab functionality. Most people will hopefully continue reading the thread, and learn about the workarounds. Still, it's not an encouraging or precise statement to begin the group discussion, IMHO.
  2 Comments
Cris LaPierre
Cris LaPierre on 25 Oct 2018
FYI: suptitle is only available to those who have the Bioinformatics toolbox, and then it was included in a demo file and is not an actual MathWorks maintained function.
However, as Paul Huxel points out, there is now (r2018b) a function in base MATLAB for this. It is called sgtitle.

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Dan
Dan on 31 Oct 2017
Thanks! This works great. I set did >set(h,'Position',[.5 1.05 .5]) to get place the supertitle above the titles of my subplots.

JB
JB on 4 Jul 2019
A great big thank you to the writer of mtit! That worked great for me, being someone who is between 2018 and the version I originally wrote my code in where my title for the subplot was centered without having to do anything extra.


Eric Sargent
Eric Sargent on 9 Dec 2020
Edited: Eric Sargent on 9 Dec 2020
Starting in R2019b, you can also use tiledlayout and nexttile instead of subplot, which has shared titles and labels. You can use the title, xlabel, and ylabel commands directly with tiledlayouts:
Alternatively, starting in R2018b, the sgtitle function will add a title over a group of subplots.
tl = tiledlayout(3,3);
for i = 1:9
nexttile(tl)
plot(rand(5,1));
end
title(tl,'Layout Title');
xlabel(tl,'Layout XLabel');
ylabel(tl,'Layout YLabel');

Tahariet Sharon
Tahariet Sharon on 25 May 2021
How would you insert multiple lines? \n won't work.
  1 Comment
Steven Lord
Steven Lord on 25 May 2021
x = 0:360;
subplot(2, 1, 1)
plot(x, sind(x))
subplot(2, 1, 2)
plot(x, cosd(x))
sgtitle("Trig functions" + newline + "First sine" + newline + "Second cosine")
or if for whatever reason you can't use a string array:
figure
x = 0:360;
subplot(2, 1, 1)
plot(x, sind(x))
subplot(2, 1, 2)
plot(x, cosd(x))
sgtitle(sprintf('%s\n%s', 'First plot is sine(x)', 'Second plot is cosine(x)'))

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