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TeX (LaTeX math mode) symbols in legends and labels in MATLAB figures

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Shah on 22 Nov 2011
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 28 Apr 2021 at 18:55
I am plotting some data which includes estimates of some parameters. I want to describe the estimates by using \hat on the parameter symbols. This I have to do in legends and axis labels fields. I could not fix this matter despite some experiments using information from MATLAB help. Any idea, please to fix this problem.
I really appreciate help on this matter which will improve the look of my presentation.

Accepted Answer

Matthew Simoneau
Matthew Simoneau on 30 May 2014
Edited: MathWorks Support Team 2 minutes ago
By default, MATLAB supports a subset of TeX markup. For a list of supported symbols, see the documentation .
For more symbols, you can use LaTeX markup by setting the Interpreter property to 'latex'. Use dollar symbols around the text. For example:
If you are using the legend function in R2018a or earlier, you must specify the labels as a cell array to distinguish the labels from the name-value pairs. In R2018b and later, the cell array is not needed.
legend({'$\hat{\psi}$'},'Interpreter','latex') % R2018a and earlier
legend('$\hat{\psi}$','Interpreter','latex') % R2018b and later
When you use LaTeX markup, the displayed text uses the default LaTeX font style. The FontName, FontWeight, and FontAngle properties no longer have an effect. To change the font style, use LaTeX markup instead.
For more information on using LaTeX in plot titles, labels, and legends, refer to the following example:
SOURAV KUMAR on 29 Mar 2021 at 6:22
You should use the following syntax for legend() :
It works on my system (Matlab R2013a),
check on yours

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More Answers (5)

Mikhail Smirnov
Mikhail Smirnov on 10 Feb 2017
You can do like this
leg1 = legend('$\bar{x}$','$\tilde{x}$','$\hat{x}$');
works well
Thomas Gillet
Thomas Gillet on 17 Dec 2017
Hello Everyone,
When I use Latex interpreter, I am not able to change the font of the legend as you mentionned with set(leg1,'FontSize',17); Have you any idea ? Thank's, Thomas

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Steven on 22 Nov 2011
Try with Latex interpreter, something like
title(['$ latex $'],'interpreter','latex')
  1 Comment
Shah on 22 Nov 2011
Thanks Steven but its not working here. I am using MATLAB 7.9.0.
I wrote legend(['$\hat{\psi}$'],'interpreter','latex') but got a warning: Unable to interpret TeX string '$\hat{\psi}$'interpreterlatex'. Same appear in the legend field.

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Shah on 23 Nov 2011
......... Its done! Actually, the default interpreter in MATLAB for legend is 'tex', I guess. It is not changed from the code line. What I had to do was to right click on the legend in the figure window and then changed the 'interpreter' from 'tex' to 'latex'. This action changed the latex statement in the legend field to Math mode.
Cheers Shah

Jordan Brel Ngako Kadji
Jordan Brel Ngako Kadji on 7 May 2020
Once I had this problem, I was writing in German and because the german letter 'ä' was not recognised all the latex commands were ignored.

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