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Zoom interaction


A zoom interaction allows you to zoom into a chart without having to select any buttons in the axes toolbar. To enable zooming, set the Interactions property of the axes to a zoomInteraction object. When this interaction is enabled, you can zoom by scrolling or pinching within the chart.

To enable multiple interactions, set the Interactions property to an array of objects.




z = zoomInteraction creates a zoom interaction object.


z = zoomInteraction('Dimensions',d) sets the Dimensions property. Use this property to constrain zooming to specific dimensions. For example, z = zoomInteraction('Dimensions','x') constrains zooming to the x-dimension.


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Dimensions to allow zooming, specified as one of these values:

  • 'xyz' — Allows zooming in all dimensions.

  • 'xy' — Allows zooming in the x and y dimensions only.

  • 'yz' — Allows zooming in the y and z dimensions only.

  • 'xz' — Allows zooming in the x and z dimensions only.

  • 'x' — Allows zooming in the x dimension only.

  • 'y' — Allows zooming in the y dimension only.

  • 'z' — Allows zooming in the z dimension only.

The Dimensions property is only supported for interactions in Cartesian axes.


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Create a surface plot. Get the current axes and replace the default interactions with just the zoom interaction. Then scroll or pinch to zoom in or out.

ax = gca;
ax.Interactions = zoomInteraction;

Use the sphere function to define vectors x, y, and z. Then create a scatter plot using those vectors. Replace the default set of interactions with a zoom interaction that is restricted to the x-dimension. Then scroll or pinch within the plot to zoom.

[X,Y,Z] = sphere(16);
x = [0.5*X(:); 0.75*X(:); X(:)];
y = [0.5*Y(:); 0.75*Y(:); Y(:)];
z = [0.5*Z(:); 0.75*Z(:); Z(:)];
ax = gca;
ax.Interactions = zoomInteraction('Dimensions','x');


In most cases, the axes have a default set of interactions which depend on the type of chart you are displaying. You can replace the default set with a new set of interactions, but you cannot access or modify any of the interactions in the default set.

Version History

Introduced in R2019a