# How can I prevent the clicked figure taking the focus?

3 views (last 30 days)
Mahmut on 12 Jun 2020
Commented: Steven Lord on 14 Jun 2020
I have created a MATLAB script in a for loop that makes calculations, create a figure and automacitally uptade this figure about 1 min time long, like that:
for n=1:5
figure(n)
for x=1:100
%calculations
%plot
%hold on
end
%hold off
end
The problem is while the figure 2 is keeping updating and I click the figure 1, the final plot on the figure 1 replaces by the figure 2 and I lose my figure 1. What should I do?

#### 1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 12 Jun 2020
search for tag:always-parent for discussion

Cam Salzberger on 12 Jun 2020
Hello Mahmut,
Rather than worrying about which figure is in focus (the current figure), it would be better practice to target your plot (or hold) commands to use a specific figure (or axes, in the case of plot). For example:
figHandle = figure;
axHandle = axes('Parent', figHandle, 'NextPlot', 'add');
plot(axHandle, x, y)
newFig = figure;
plot(axHandle, a, b)
-Cam

Benjamin on 12 Jun 2020
The default behavior of the plot() command is to plot into the currrent axes in the current figure. Clicking a figure makes it the current figure, which is why subsequent plot commands replace what was there. To avoid this behavior, plot into specific axes (i.e., not necessarily the current axes in the current figure). Something like this might work:
for n=1:5
figure(n); % figure n is now the current figure
ax = gca(); % ax is now the current axes
for x=1:100
% calculations
% plot(ax,...) instead of plot(...)
% hold(ax,'on') instead of hold on
end
% hold(ax,'off') instead of hold off
end
By specifying ax to the plot command, you are telling MATLAB to plot to that axes, rather than the current axes (similarly for the hold command). This way you can interact with previously created figures while the code is running, and they will still become the current figure, but MATLAB will plot to the new one.

Show 3 older comments
Benjamin on 12 Jun 2020
Thank you for the code. My original answer assumed you would have one axes per figure, but since you are using subplot to create multiple axes in a single figure, you will want to remove the ax = gca; line and do the following when you call subplot:
ax = subplot(2,1,1);
% plot(ax, ...)
% hold(ax, ...)
% plot(ax, ...)
% hold(ax, ...)
% xlim(ax, ...)
% ylim(ax, ...)
ax = subplot(2,1,2);
% inf = plot(ax, ...)
% ...
% ylim(ax, ...)
% xlim(ax, ...)
Mahmut on 13 Jun 2020
I do not get the error now but replacing problem still exist.
Steven Lord on 14 Jun 2020
Can you show your updated code?

R2019a

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