MATLAB Answers

How do I run Matlab from Python, but save figures to a file?

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Tom McGiffen
Tom McGiffen on 17 Oct 2015
Commented: Tianya Duan on 24 Mar 2020
I am successfully running Matlab from Python. The Matlab code I have displays 2 figures. Upon running Python, would rather those figures go to a file. Is there a switch, or some such option to get that to happen? Rather not rewrite Matlab code with some sort of Python specific switch.
Thanks, Tom


Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 17 Oct 2015
Why would you need a Python specific switch? Why not just save the figures using export_fig() directly from MATLAB?
Tom McGiffen
Tom McGiffen on 19 Oct 2015
I am calling an existing codebase we do not want to modify... am working a larger project. The existing codebase makes the figures. Want that in stand-alone, don't want it when called externally.

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Answers (2)

Bo Li
Bo Li on 19 Oct 2015
There is no such flag. Python Engine allows you to have full control over MATLAB from Python. You can simply save a figure like following example shows:
>>>eng.plot(matlab.double([1,2,3,4])) %create a plot
>>>eng.savefig("foo.fig",nargout=0) %save current figure to "foo.fig"
>>>eng.close() %close current figure


Bo Li
Bo Li on 19 Oct 2015
Yes, I believe it works for Linux and Mac:
Start up options can be also used in Python Engine. For example, you can start MATLAB with "-nodisplay" by:
>>> eng = matlab.engine.start_matlab("-nodisplay")
Bo Li
Bo Li on 19 Oct 2015
You probably can try the start up option "-noFigureWindows" if the purpose is to hide the figure window:
This works on all platforms.

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Nicholas G
Nicholas G on 18 Sep 2019
Why the figure turn off automatically after it show up?

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