# How to change figure size?

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John on 30 Jan 2015
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 28 Apr 2021 at 18:44
I'm trying to change the figure size. In the example below, I expected figure(2) to have a different size. In order to achieve this, I added:
set(gcf, 'PaperUnits', 'inches');
set(gcf, 'PaperSize', [4 2]);
set(gcf, 'PaperPositionMode', 'manual');
set(gcf, 'PaperPosition', [0 0 4 2]);
Any idea why this isn't working?
clc;
clear all;
t = 0:.1:4*pi;
y = sin(t);
figure(1)
set(gcf, 'renderer', 'painters');
plot(t,y)
xlabel('Time(s)')
ylabel('y(t)')
title('Sin function')
legend('y=sin(t)')
axis([0 t(end) -1.5 1.5])
set(gca,...
'Units','normalized',...
'YTick',-1.5:.5:1.5,...
'XTick',0:t(end)/4:t(end),...
'FontUnits','points',...
'FontWeight','normal',...
'FontSize',9,...
'FontName','Times')
set(gca, 'Position', get(gca, 'OuterPosition') - ...
get(gca, 'TightInset') * [-1 0 1 0; 0 -1 0 1; 0 0 1 0; 0 0 0 1]);
figure(2)
set(gcf, 'renderer', 'painters');
set(gcf, 'PaperUnits', 'inches');
set(gcf, 'PaperSize', [4 2]);
set(gcf, 'PaperPositionMode', 'manual');
set(gcf, 'PaperPosition', [0 0 4 2]);
plot(t,y)
xlabel('Time(s)')
ylabel('y(t)')
title('Sin function')
legend('y=sin(t)')
axis([0 t(end) -1.5 1.5])
set(gca,...
'Units','normalized',...
'YTick',-1.5:.5:1.5,...
'XTick',0:t(end)/4:t(end),...
'FontUnits','points',...
'FontWeight','normal',...
'FontSize',9,...
'FontName','Times')
set(gca, 'Position', get(gca, 'OuterPosition') - ...
get(gca, 'TightInset') * [-1 0 1 0; 0 -1 0 1; 0 0 1 0; 0 0 0 1]);

Chad Greene on 30 Jan 2015
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 28 Apr 2021 at 18:44
The paper size options are for printing, so they don’t change the size of the figure.
The ‘Position’ property sets the size of the figure (in pixels by default). Specify the property as a vector of the form [x y width height], where x and y define the distance from the lower-left corner of the screen to the lower-left corner of the figure. Also note that you can set several properties at once without calling set(gcf,… multiple times. You can even include them when you create the figure:
figure('Renderer', 'painters', 'Position', [10 10 900 600])
You can also save a handle to your figure and set the Position property using dot notation:
f = figure;
f.Position = [100 100 540 400];
For an example of changing figure size programmatically, see the following:https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/ref/figure.html#mw_e279e63f-1641-4b14-a781-c5facd020190
Steven Lord on 20 Feb 2020
This is a bit late, but if you're using release R2018a or later you can use the WindowState property of figure objects to maximize or minimize the figure or display it in full-screen mode instead of using the function Image Analyst attached to the comment above.

Chad Greene on 30 Jan 2015
For full-screen figures, you can use fullfig.

First, there seems to be some confusion as to what your refer by size, which can be a) on the screen or b) printed or c) in pixel size (as in a jpg).
If you want to have the two figures in the screen with identical sizes, then the important parameter is 'Position' OF THE FIGURE, i.e.
figure(1)
plot(t,y)
set(gcf,'Position',[100 100 500 500])
figure(2)
plot(t2,y2)
set(gcf,'Position',[100 100 500 500])
That will have the two figures with exactly the same size, and in the same position. You can change where each is placed and the dimensions. Actually, it is better to use handles than gcf as gcf uses the last figure that was addressed, example
h1=figure(1);
plot(t,y)
set(h1,'Position',[10 10 500 500])
h2=figure(2);
plot(t2,y2)
set(h2,'Position',[510 10 500 500])
Notice that gcf refers to figures, if you change with gca, you will be moving the axis INSIDE the figure but the figure size will not change.
If you want to change in print or in an external image let me know and I will expand.
##### 2 CommentsShowHide 1 older comment
Henri Skinner on 9 Sep 2020
This was very helpful for my problem, thanks Constantino!

Jan Cagan on 5 Jun 2018
Hi,
I am using this figure initialization and export:
fig = figure('units','inch','position',[0,0,3.3,2*3.3/3]);
print(fig,name,'-r800','-dpng');
In most cases, the output has the same size, but sometimes the size is a bit different. Why? How to avoid this behavior? I am using Matlab in Ubuntu 16.04 with -nodesktop -softwareopengl