Yesterday I learnt how to make simpe plots using tikzpicture and I'm very satisfied of the result:

    \addplot[smooth,mark=*,blue] plot coordinates {
        plot coordinates {

However now I have to make more complex plots (e.g. boxplot) and I cannot think of doing it manually. Up to now I have a Matlab script which reads a certain amount data and generates a figure. I exclude to save it as .png anymore because I want a vectorial image inside my document.
The better way I found is to use matlab2tikz. I tried it but it gives me errors. Because I cannot access newer versions of Matlab (which wouldn't resolve anything, I think, as the figure is generated without errors. The errors are when I compile LaTeX code.) and because I don't like to deal eternally with parser errors (I have few time so I cannot risk to loose too much time on this) I was looking for another way of doing it.

What do other people do when they want to add a vectorial plot from matlab/octave/gnuplot? Is matlab2tiks the gold standard or is there some other way?

(I know that I could compute my personal tikz boxplot from raw data with a not-too-complex script, and I like the idea, but I'm guessing if there is already something that does it)

  • What errors do you get when you compile the code from matlab2tikz? Feb 19, 2014 at 9:58
  • @TorbjørnT. They are 98. I'm trying to find a way of copying and pasting them from Kyle. I cite you a couple: "Missing \endcsname inserted };" here's another: "There is not line to end };" and so on.
    – HAL9000
    Feb 19, 2014 at 10:05
  • The first one(s) could be the most important. Open the .log file and you'll find them. Feb 19, 2014 at 10:07
  • @TorbjørnT. The first two errors are those I wrote. I put the log here: pastebin.com/wi4dkzYu and the .tex here: pastebin.com/Y1Kzq8Up and the tikz here: pastebin.com/Npig30W6 if you want take a look. Thank you!
    – HAL9000
    Feb 19, 2014 at 10:15
  • 1
    You have an outdated TeX-distribution, with old versions of TikZ and pgfplots. On my system (a recently updated TeX Live 2013) your plot works fine. Install TeX Live 2013 from TUG.org (see e.g. tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1092/…) if you can. Feb 19, 2014 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


Boxplots are described in chapter 5.9.1 of the PGFPLOTS manual.

Like so:


    yticklabels={Index 0, Index 1, Index 2},
    boxplot prepared={
      upper quartile=1.2,
      lower quartile=0.4,
      upper whisker=1.5,
      lower whisker=0.2
    ] coordinates {};
    boxplot prepared={
      upper quartile=2.3,
      lower quartile=1.5,
      upper whisker=2.7,
      lower whisker=1
    ] coordinates {};
    boxplot prepared={
      upper quartile=1.4,
      lower quartile=0.5,
      upper whisker=1.9,
      lower whisker=0.1
    ] coordinates {};



If you do want to use matlab. Try to save your image as a pdf or eps, since it is vector based, you won't loose quality.

  • I tried to "print file.pdf" from matlab and it actually looses quality. Moreover I'd prefer to have a tikz figure in order to customize it from tex editor. I didn't try .eps, maybe I'll try it later, thank you for the answer!
    – HAL9000
    Feb 19, 2014 at 10:47
  • I would prefer the tikz option as well. But do note that the matlab print command has an option -r to set the resolution of the graphic - try setting it to something like -r300 (it will be the dpi quality)
    – dorien
    Feb 19, 2014 at 11:11

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