# Documentation

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# gca

Current axes handle

## Syntax

• ``ax = gca``
example

## Description

example

````ax = gca` returns the current axes for the current figure. If an axes does not exist, then `gca` creates one. You can use `ax` to query and modify axes properties.```

## Examples

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Plot a sine wave.

```x = linspace(0,10); y = sin(4*x); plot(x,y) ```

Set the font size, tick direction, tick length, and y-axis limits for the current axes. Use `gca` to refer to the current axes.

Note: Starting in R2014b, you can use dot notation to set properties. If you are using an earlier release, use the `set` function instead, such as `set(ax,'FontSize',12)`.

```ax = gca; % current axes ax.FontSize = 12; ax.TickDir = 'out'; ax.TickLength = [0.02 0.02]; ax.YLim = [-2 2]; ```

## Output Arguments

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Current axes, returned as an axes object or a polar axes object. You can use `ax` to query and modify axes properties. For a list of properties, see Axes Properties or Polar Axes Properties.

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### Current Axes

The current axes is the target for graphics output. It is the axes in which graphics commands such as `plot`, `text`, and `surf` draw their results. It is typically the last axes created or the last axes clicked with the mouse. Changing the current figure also changes the current axes.

User interaction can change the current axes. If you need to access a specific axes, store the axes handle in your program code when you create the axes and use this handle instead of `gca`.

### Tips

• To access the current axes without forcing the creation of an axes if one does not exist, query the figure `CurrentAxes` property. MATLAB® returns an empty array if there is no current axes. Starting in R2014b, you can query properties using dot notation. If you are using an earlier release, use the `get` function instead, such as `ax = get(fig,'CurrentAxes')`.

```fig = gcf; ax = fig.CurrentAxes;```

• Set axes properties after plotting since some plotting functions reset axes properties.