Get free ebooK with 50 must do coding Question for Product Based Companies solved
Fill the details & get ebook over email
Thank You!
We have sent the Ebook on 50 Must Do Coding Questions for Product Based Companies Solved over your email. All the best!

# Styling Plots Using Matplotlib

Last Updated on July 16, 2024 by Abhishek Sharma

Matplotlib, a popular Python library for data visualization, offers a wide range of customization options to style your plots. These options help make plots more visually appealing and easier to understand. This article will guide you through various techniques to style plots using Matplotlib, covering everything from basic customizations to advanced styling techniques.

## Basic Plot Customizations

Basic Plot Customizations are:

Line Styles and Colors
One of the simplest ways to customize your plots is by changing the line styles and colors. Matplotlib allows you to easily modify these properties using the plot function.

``````import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

# Data preparation
x = np.linspace(0, 10, 100)
y = np.sin(x)

# Basic plot with customizations
plt.plot(x, y, color='blue', linestyle='--', linewidth=2, marker='o', markerfacecolor='red')
plt.title('Styled Sine Wave')
plt.xlabel('X axis')
plt.ylabel('Y axis')
plt.show()``````

In this example:
color sets the line color.
linestyle specifies the line style (dashed in this case).
linewidth changes the width of the line.
marker adds markers at each data point.
markerfacecolor sets the color of the markers.

Titles and Labels

``````plt.plot(x, y, color='green')
plt.title('Sine Wave', fontsize=14, fontweight='bold')
plt.xlabel('X axis', fontsize=12)
plt.ylabel('Y axis', fontsize=12)
plt.show()``````

In this example:
fontsize changes the size of the text.
fontweight changes the weight (boldness) of the text.

Grid and Ticks
Customizing the grid and ticks can enhance the readability of your plots.

``````plt.plot(x, y, color='purple')
plt.title('Sine Wave with Grid')
plt.xlabel('X axis')
plt.ylabel('Y axis')

plt.grid(True, which='both', linestyle='--', linewidth=0.5)

# Customizing ticks
plt.xticks(np.arange(0, 11, 1))
plt.yticks(np.arange(-1, 1.5, 0.5))

plt.show()``````

In this example:
plt.grid adds a grid to the plot with custom line style and width.
plt.xticks and plt.yticks customize the tick locations.

Subplots
Creating and customizing subplots allows you to present multiple plots in a single figure.

``````fig, axs = plt.subplots(2, 1, figsize=(8, 6))

axs[0].plot(x, y, color='red')
axs[0].set_title('Sine Wave')
axs[0].grid(True)

axs[1].plot(x, np.cos(x), color='blue')
axs[1].set_title('Cosine Wave')
axs[1].grid(True)

plt.tight_layout()
plt.show()``````

In this example:
figsize sets the size of the figure.
plt.tight_layout adjusts the subplot parameters for better spacing.

Legends
Legends are essential for distinguishing different data series in a plot.

``````y2 = np.cos(x)

plt.plot(x, y, label='Sine', color='orange')
plt.plot(x, y2, label='Cosine', color='green')
plt.title('Sine and Cosine Waves')
plt.xlabel('X axis')
plt.ylabel('Y axis')

plt.legend(loc='upper right', fontsize=10, title='Functions')

plt.show()``````

In this example:
plt.legend adds a legend to the plot.
loc specifies the location of the legend.
fontsize and title customize the legend’s appearance.

Annotations
Annotations can be used to highlight specific points or areas in your plot.

``````plt.plot(x, y, color='blue')
plt.title('Sine Wave with Annotation')
plt.xlabel('X axis')
plt.ylabel('Y axis')

plt.annotate('Max Value', xy=(np.pi/2, 1), xytext=(np.pi/2 + 1, 0.8),
arrowprops=dict(facecolor='black', shrink=0.05))

plt.grid(True)
plt.show()``````

In this example:

• plt.annotate adds an annotation with an arrow pointing to a specific data point.

Customizing Styles with style.use
Matplotlib comes with several predefined styles that you can use to change the overall look of your plots.

``````plt.style.use('seaborn-darkgrid')
plt.plot(x, y, color='magenta')
plt.title('Styled Sine Wave with Seaborn-darkgrid')
plt.xlabel('X axis')
plt.ylabel('Y axis')
plt.show()``````

In this example:

• plt.style.use applies the seaborn-darkgrid style to the plot.

Creating Custom Styles
You can also create your own custom styles using a style sheet. A style sheet is a simple text file that defines various properties of the plot.

``````import matplotlib as mpl

mpl.rcParams['lines.linewidth'] = 2
mpl.rcParams['lines.linestyle'] = '--'
mpl.rcParams['lines.color'] = 'green'
mpl.rcParams['axes.titlesize'] = 16
mpl.rcParams['axes.labelsize'] = 14

plt.plot(x, y)
plt.title('Custom Styled Sine Wave')
plt.xlabel('X axis')
plt.ylabel('Y axis')
plt.show()``````

In this example:

• mpl.rcParams is used to set various properties globally.

Conclusion
Styling plots using Matplotlib can significantly enhance the visual appeal and readability of your visualizations. From basic customizations like line styles and colors to advanced techniques like annotations and custom styles, Matplotlib offers a wide range of options to tailor your plots to your specific needs. By mastering these techniques, you can create professional and informative plots that effectively communicate your data insights.

## FAQs on Styling Plots Using Matplotlib

FAQs on Styling Plots Using Matplotlib are:

1. How do I change the color of a line in a plot?
You can change the color of a line by using the color parameter in the plot function. For example:

``plt.plot(x, y, color='red')``

2. How can I customize the line style in my plot?
You can customize the line style using the linestyle parameter. Common styles include ‘-‘ for solid lines, ‘–‘ for dashed lines, ‘-.’ for dash-dot lines, and ‘:’ for dotted lines. For example:

``plt.plot(x, y, linestyle='--')``

3. What are markers, and how do I add them to my plot?
Markers are symbols that highlight individual data points on a plot. You can add them using the marker parameter. Common markers include ‘o’ for circles, ‘^’ for triangles, and ‘s’ for squares. For example:

``plt.plot(x, y, marker='o')``

4. How do I add titles and labels to my plot?
You can add titles and labels using the title, xlabel, and ylabel functions. For example:

``````plt.title('Plot Title')
plt.xlabel('X axis')
plt.ylabel('Y axis')``````

5. How can I add a grid to my plot?
You can add a grid using the grid function. For example:

``plt.grid(True)``