image thumbnail

Generate maximally perceptually-distinct colors

version 1.2.0.0 (3.42 KB) by Tim Holy
Choose a set of n colors that can be readily distinguished from each other

31.3K Downloads

Updated 07 Feb 2011

View License

Editor's Note: This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

When plotting a set of lines, you may want to distinguish them by color. By default, Matlab chooses a small set of colors and cycles among them, and so if you have more than a few lines there will be confusion about which line is which. To fix this problem, one would want to be able to pick a much larger set of distinct colors, where the number of colors equals or exceeds the number of lines you want to plot. Because our ability to distinguish among colors has limits, one should choose these colors to be "maximally perceptually distinguishable."

This function generates a set of colors which are distinguishable by reference to the "Lab" color space, which more closely matches human color perception than RGB. Given an initial large list of possible colors, it iteratively chooses the entry in the list that is farthest (in Lab space) from all previously-chosen entries.

Cite As

Tim Holy (2021). Generate maximally perceptually-distinct colors (https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/29702-generate-maximally-perceptually-distinct-colors), MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2010a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Community Treasure Hunt

Find the treasures in MATLAB Central and discover how the community can help you!

Start Hunting!