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How can I get Greek letters in a MATLAB figure title or plot label?

To have greek letters in a Matlab figure title or plot label, you must set the "FontName" for the current axes to "Symbol". One way to do this is:

        >> set (gca,'FontName','Symbol')

"gca" is the "handle" for the current axes object. Each object has a number of properities that can be modified. Type "help get" for more information. Then, from the table below, use the english character that corresponds to the greek letters you want in the desired Matlab title or label. For example to label the X axis with the greek letter omega:

        >> xlabel ('W')

Remember to set the "FontName" back to the default after adding greek text. For example

        >> set (gca,'FontName','Helvetica')

To add greek text with the gtext command, you first add the text and get the "handle" for the text object, then change the font. For example:

        >> han = gtext('Example String')
        >> set (han,'FontName','Symbol')

will put the string "Example String" in the selected location in the greek font.

Greek English Upper English Lower
Alpha A a
Beta B b
Gamma G g
Delta D d
Epsilon E e
Zeta Z z
Eta H h
Theta Q q
Iota I i
Kappa K k
Lambda L l
Mu M m
Nu N n
Xi X x
Omicron O o
Pi P p
Rho R r
Sigma S s
Tau T t
Upsilon U u
Phi F f
Chi C c
Psi Y y
Omega W w

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

February 18, 2009

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