I use LaPrint in Matlab to generate my EPS figures. In the TeX file that accompanies the EPS file with the LaPrint output, I have some PSfrag commands. If we consider, say, the y-axis, I find in some cases that the y-axis label is very close to the tick marks labels. And in some cases, they overlap. Here is PSfrag code for a y-axis label:

\psfrag{s04}[b][b]{\color[rgb]{0,0,0}\setlength{\tabcolsep}{0pt}\begin{tabular}{c}Force $F$, kN\end{tabular}}%

where label s04 is to be replaced by "Force F, kN". I find that I can get further separation between the y-axis label and the tick marks label by using

\psfrag{s04}[bc][bl]{\color[rgb]{0,0,0}\setlength{\tabcolsep}{0pt}\begin{tabular}{c}Force $F$, kN\end{tabular}}%

where the only change was from [b] to [bc] and [b] to [bl].

However at times this is insufficient. I have been looking at the PSfrag manual but couldn't find any good solutions. Any suggestions?

So I'm basically looking to increase the separation between the y-label and the tick marks on the graph axis. This amounts to moving the y-label more to the left.

  • I don't know if this will help your problem, but you could try using matlabfrag instead of laprint. Aug 27, 2010 at 8:45
  • Thanks. I have tested matlabfrag before. It is supposed to be more robust than Laprint. But I don't think so. There are lots of things that you can do with Laprint but not with matlabfrag. Anyhow, I have found a solution (see my answer). Aug 27, 2010 at 9:39
  • Off topic regarding matlabfrag: if this is the case please report bugs to the author! (Caveat: who is a friend of mine.) Aug 27, 2010 at 10:58
  • These kinds of things do unfortunately take time. I don't have the time right now to do some extensive testing with matlabfrag but surely I can do this in the future when I'm less busy. Aug 27, 2010 at 11:52
  • and what about using fig2tex instead, that export matlab figures in pstricks? Then you control everything within Latex.
    – pluton
    Aug 27, 2010 at 12:55

4 Answers 4


You could wrap the replacement into \raisebox{±voffset}{...} for vertical displacement and prepend \hspace{±hoffset} for horizontal shifting.


I have found a solution by modifying the \arraystretch parameter. It works fine.


\psfrag{s04}[bc][bl]{\color[rgb]{0,0,0}\setlength{\tabcolsep}{0pt}\renewcommand{\arraystretch}{1.8}\begin{tabular}{c}Write here\end{tabular}}%
  • I'm accepting my own answer for now but others are welcome to post other solutions for this problem. Thanks. Aug 30, 2010 at 19:19

I use struts, or phantom objects, which is ugly but which does the trick. Thus, you might include \phantom{a} or something before the text in order to force the text to the right.

  • Thanks for your answer. If I apply your technique to the y axis label, then the label moves upwards. What I want is to increase the separation between the label and the tickmarks i.e. make the label move to the left with respect to the y axis. Aug 27, 2010 at 6:18
  • Then add phontom characters after the text. Aug 27, 2010 at 12:35
  • Thanks. I haven't tried this. But adding phantom characters may not be an elegant solution. With the \arraystretch command, I have just 1 parameter to play with (see my extended answer) and I think it's less messy than using phantom characters. But I know that phantom characters are very useful: I have indeed used them before in other LaTeX documents :). Aug 27, 2010 at 15:42

Probably the most general solution is to use a zero sized picture environment containing a \put you can then place the LaTeX text at any coordinate offset.

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