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matplotlib.pyplot.plot(*args, **kwargs)

Plot lines and/or markers to the Axes. args is a variable length argument, allowing for multiple x, y pairs with an optional format string. For example, each of the following is legal:

plot(x, y)        # plot x and y using default line style and color
plot(x, y, 'bo')  # plot x and y using blue circle markers
plot(y)           # plot y using x as index array 0..N-1
plot(y, 'r+')     # ditto, but with red plusses

If x and/or y is 2-dimensional, then the corresponding columns will be plotted.

If used with labeled data, make sure that the color spec is not included as an element in data, as otherwise the last case plot("v","r", data={"v":..., "r":...) can be interpreted as the first case which would do plot(v, r) using the default line style and color.

If not used with labeled data (i.e., without a data argument), an arbitrary number of x, y, fmt groups can be specified, as in:

a.plot(x1, y1, 'g^', x2, y2, 'g-')

Return value is a list of lines that were added.

By default, each line is assigned a different style specified by a ‘style cycle’. To change this behavior, you can edit the axes.prop_cycle rcParam.

The following format string characters are accepted to control the line style or marker:

character description
'-' solid line style
'--' dashed line style
'-.' dash-dot line style
':' dotted line style
'.' point marker
',' pixel marker
'o' circle marker
'v' triangle_down marker
'^' triangle_up marker
'<' triangle_left marker
'>' triangle_right marker
'1' tri_down marker
'2' tri_up marker
'3' tri_left marker
'4' tri_right marker
's' square marker
'p' pentagon marker
'*' star marker
'h' hexagon1 marker
'H' hexagon2 marker
'+' plus marker
'x' x marker
'D' diamond marker
'd' thin_diamond marker
'|' vline marker
'_' hline marker

The following color abbreviations are supported:

character color
‘b’ blue
‘g’ green
‘r’ red
‘c’ cyan
‘m’ magenta
‘y’ yellow
‘k’ black
‘w’ white

In addition, you can specify colors in many weird and wonderful ways, including full names ('green'), hex strings ('#008000'), RGB or RGBA tuples ((0,1,0,1)) or grayscale intensities as a string ('0.8'). Of these, the string specifications can be used in place of a fmt group, but the tuple forms can be used only as kwargs.

Line styles and colors are combined in a single format string, as in 'bo' for blue circles.

The kwargs can be used to set line properties (any property that has a set_* method). You can use this to set a line label (for auto legends), linewidth, anitialising, marker face color, etc. Here is an example:

plot([1,2,3], [1,2,3], 'go-', label='line 1', linewidth=2)
plot([1,2,3], [1,4,9], 'rs',  label='line 2')
axis([0, 4, 0, 10])

If you make multiple lines with one plot command, the kwargs apply to all those lines, e.g.:

plot(x1, y1, x2, y2, antialiased=False)

Neither line will be antialiased.

You do not need to use format strings, which are just abbreviations. All of the line properties can be controlled by keyword arguments. For example, you can set the color, marker, linestyle, and markercolor with:

plot(x, y, color='green', linestyle='dashed', marker='o',
     markerfacecolor='blue', markersize=12).

See Line2D for details.

The kwargs are Line2D properties:

Property Description
agg_filter unknown
alpha float (0.0 transparent through 1.0 opaque)
animated [True | False]
antialiased or aa [True | False]
clip_box a matplotlib.transforms.Bbox instance
clip_on [True | False]
clip_path [ (Path, Transform) | Patch | None ]
color or c any matplotlib color
contains a callable function
dash_capstyle [‘butt’ | ‘round’ | ‘projecting’]
dash_joinstyle [‘miter’ | ‘round’ | ‘bevel’]
dashes sequence of on/off ink in points
drawstyle [‘default’ | ‘steps’ | ‘steps-pre’ | ‘steps-mid’ | ‘steps-post’]
figure a matplotlib.figure.Figure instance
fillstyle [‘full’ | ‘left’ | ‘right’ | ‘bottom’ | ‘top’ | ‘none’]
gid an id string
label string or anything printable with ‘%s’ conversion.
linestyle or ls [‘solid’ | ‘dashed’, ‘dashdot’, ‘dotted’ | (offset, on-off-dash-seq) | '-' | '--' | '-.' | ':' | 'None' | ' ' | '']
linewidth or lw float value in points
marker A valid marker style
markeredgecolor or mec any matplotlib color
markeredgewidth or mew float value in points
markerfacecolor or mfc any matplotlib color
markerfacecoloralt or mfcalt any matplotlib color
markersize or ms float
markevery [None | int | length-2 tuple of int | slice | list/array of int | float | length-2 tuple of float]
path_effects unknown
picker float distance in points or callable pick function fn(artist, event)
pickradius float distance in points
rasterized [True | False | None]
sketch_params unknown
snap unknown
solid_capstyle [‘butt’ | ‘round’ | ‘projecting’]
solid_joinstyle [‘miter’ | ‘round’ | ‘bevel’]
transform a matplotlib.transforms.Transform instance
url a url string
visible [True | False]
xdata 1D array
ydata 1D array
zorder any number

kwargs scalex and scaley, if defined, are passed on to autoscale_view() to determine whether the x and y axes are autoscaled; the default is True.


In addition to the above described arguments, this function can take a data keyword argument. If such a data argument is given, the following arguments are replaced by data[<arg>]:

  • All arguments with the following names: ‘x’, ‘y’.