Matplotlib in Python: Getting Started

Matplotlib in Python: Getting Started

14 mins read

If you’re working with Python, chances are you’ve heard of Matplotlib, the most popular graphing and plotting library available in the language.

Chances are even better that you may have tried to use it and then thrown your hands up in frustration because the documentation was confusing or nonexistent.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry—you’re not alone! Fortunately, you can get started using Matplotlib quickly by following these simple steps.


Matplotlib is a plotting library for the Python programming language and its numerical mathematics extension, NumPy.

It provides an object-oriented API for embedding plots into applications using general-purpose GUI toolkits like Tkinter, wxPython, Qt, or GTK+.

Video Credits: Edureka

There’s also a procedural pylab interface based on a state machine (like OpenGL), designed to closely resemble that of MATLAB, though its use is discouraged because of how unintuitive it is.

Matplotlib can be used in Python scripts, the Python and IPython shells, the Jupyter notebook, web application servers, and four graphical user interface toolkits.

Plots can be created in several different ways: by using python commands entered interactively; by writing code within a script file; by importing one of the many built-in modules that contain predefined plot types; or by importing one of the many third party libraries written specifically for matplotlib.

Installing matplotlib

Matplotlib in Python: Getting Started

The first step to using matplotlib is installing it. You can do this using pip, which is a package manager forpython. Once you have pip installed, open up a terminal and type ‘pip install matplotlib’. This should install the latest version of matplotlib. If you’re having trouble, you can check out the matplotlib website for more help.

Basic Usage

Matplotlib is a plotting library for the Python programming language. It allows you to create 2D and 3D plots. In this post, we will cover the basics of using Matplotlib in Python.

We will cover how to install Matplotlib, how to create basic plots, and how to customize your plots. First, let’s get started by installing matplotlib. You can use pip to do this with: pip3 install matplotlib
After it installs, there are a few things that need adjusting before you can start plotting with it.

The first thing is telling Python where your files are located so it knows where to find them.

Interactive Plotting with PyPlot
Matplotlib is a plotting library for Python that provides a variety of ways to create interactive plots. The most common way to use Matplotlib is through PyPlot, which is a Matplotlib module that provides a plotting interface similar to MATLAB.

To get started with PyPlot, you need to install Matplotlib and then import it into your Python script. Once you have imported Matplotlib, you can create a plot by calling the plot() function.

The plot() function takes two arguments: the data to be plotted and the type of plot.

There are many different types of plots that can be created with Matplotlib, including line plots, bar plots, and scatter plots. To create an interactive plot, you need to use the show() function.

Histograms and Density Plots

A histogram is a great way to visualize the distribution of a numeric variable. It shows the number of data points that fall within each bin.

A density plot is similar to a histogram in that it shows the distribution of data, but rather than plotting the number of data points in each bin, it plots the density of data points.

This makes it easier to see patterns in the data. To create a histogram or density plot in matplotlib, you’ll need to import the matplotlib.pyplot module. You can then call one of the following functions on your dataframe.

Bar Charts and Box Plots

Bar charts are a great way to visualize data. They’re easy to understand and can be used to compare data sets. Box plots are another great way to visualize data.

They show the distribution of data and can be used to compare multiple data sets. In this post, we’ll see how to create bar charts and box plots with Matplotlib in Python. We’ll start by importing matplotlib as follows:
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from matplotlib import pyplot as plt
Next, we will set up some simple plotting parameters for both a bar chart and box plot by defining the x-axis and y-axis labels and setting their titles accordingly. The following code will set up our first axis for both plots; this is not required but it is good practice to do so because it provides clarity about what each axis represents in your graphs.

Violin Plots

A violin plot is a graphical representation of numerical data. It is similar to a box plot, but with a rotated kernel density plot on each side. Violin plots are useful for visualizing distributions of data. In this post we will show how to use Matplotlib and together to create violin plots in python.

Similar to horizontal bar charts, horizontal violin charts are ideal for handling many categories. Swapping the axes makes room for the category labels.


You can remove the traditional boxplot element and plot each observation as a point. Points are useful when your data set contains observations from the entire population (as opposed to a selected sample).

There is no need to reason about unobserved populations when the entire population is at your disposal. You can evaluate what lies ahead. Reducing the bandwidth of the
kernel produces a bumpy graph that helps identify smaller clusters. B. Tails of chicks fed casein.

First, let’s import the necessary modules from

matplotlib.pylab and matplotlib.widgets
import matplotlib.pylab as plt
import matplotlib.widgets as widgets import numpy as np # so that we can import other NumPy packages import pandas as pd # so that we can load the pandas libraries

Line Plots (Scatter Plots)
Matplotlib is a plotting library for the Python programming language and its numerical mathematics extension NumPy. It provides an object-oriented API for embedding plots into applications using general-purpose GUI toolkits like Tkinter, wxPython, Qt, or GTK+.

There are plt.plot() and plt.scatter() that plot line plots and scatter plots respectively. To plot a line plot, you need to pass in at least two arrays: one for the x-axis values and one for the y-axis values. The axes can be either float or integer (one value per row). For example, to create a scatter plot of 10 points with x-values from 1 to 10 and y-values from 0 to 9 we would use

Pie Charts, Donut Charts, and Radar Charts

Matplotlib is a great tool for creating visualizations in Python. In this post, we’ll go over how to create three different types of charts: pie charts, donut charts, and radar charts. We’ll also talk about how to customize these charts to make them more visually appealing.


First, let’s start with the most basic type of chart – a pie chart. If you have used Excel before, then you know what a pie chart looks like: it shows values as percentages of some whole (usually 100%).

To generate the plot for the following table , use the following code:
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import matplotlib.patches as patches
p = plt.pie(d1, labels=)

Customizing your plots
You can customize your plots in Matplotlib by changing the colors, line widths, markers, and other properties. You can also add text to your plots using the text() function.

The font size and style of the text can be changed using the size and style keyword arguments, respectively. To add a title to your plot, use the title() function. If you want to specify the figure size, use plt.figure().
You may also want to show some data labels on your plot; for example, if you have multiple curves or points on your graph. In this case, you will need to specify the axis that contains the data that you want labeled with plt.xlabel() or plt.ylabel().
Lastly, if you need more than one set of axes on your graph (for example if you are comparing two different types of graphs), then you will need to create another figure with plt.subplots(), which creates an axes object within it’s parent figure space.

Image Manipulation with Matplotlib
Matplotlib is a powerful tool for creating visualizations in Python.

Matplotlib includes the image module for image manipulation

import matplotlib.image as mpimg
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

Image are read in this format

img = mpimg.imread('my_image.png')

Rendered by in show function

import matplotlib.image as mpimg
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
img = mpimg.imread('so-logo.png')
The designated output.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the basics of working with images and Matplotlib. We’ll cover how to read in images, how to manipulate them, and how to save them back out again.

Matplotlib is a great tool for image manipulation and we hope you enjoy learning how to use it! Matplotlib has several different ways to load in an image that can be found on their documentation page here. One way is by loading it from a file with imread().
The next thing that you need to do once you have loaded your file into matplotlib is add the axes object so that matplotlib knows where to put your data.

In conclusion, matplotlib is a powerful tool that can be used to create stunning visualizations. With its wide range of customization options, you can create almost any type of plot or chart that you can imagine.

Plus, thanks to its integration with other popular Python libraries, you can easily take your visualizations to the next level.

If you’re looking to get started with data visualization in Python, matplotlib is the way to go. It’s easy to learn and master and has many resources available online for learning how to use it.

It also has some great integrations with other python libraries like pandas, which makes it easy to make charts from your data in an instant. So what are you waiting for? Give matplotlib a try today!

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