python matplotlib.pyplot - Save plot to image file instead of displaying it using Matplotlib




matplotlib.image pdf (13)

I am writing a quick-and-dirty script to generate plots on the fly. I am using the code below (from Matplotlib documentation) as a starting point:

from pylab import figure, axes, pie, title, show

# Make a square figure and axes
figure(1, figsize=(6, 6))
ax = axes([0.1, 0.1, 0.8, 0.8])

labels = 'Frogs', 'Hogs', 'Dogs', 'Logs'
fracs = [15, 30, 45, 10]

explode = (0, 0.05, 0, 0)
pie(fracs, explode=explode, labels=labels, autopct='%1.1f%%', shadow=True)
title('Raining Hogs and Dogs', bbox={'facecolor': '0.8', 'pad': 5})

show()  # Actually, don't show, just save to foo.png

I don't want to display the plot on a GUI, instead, I want to save the plot to a file (say foo.png), so that, for example, it can be used in batch scripts. How do I do that?


Answers

If, like me, you use Spyder IDE, you have to disable the interactive mode with :

plt.ioff()

(this command is automatically launched with the scientific startup)

If you want to enable it again, use :

plt.ion()


I used the following:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

p1 = plt.plot(dates, temp, 'r-', label="Temperature (celsius)")  
p2 = plt.plot(dates, psal, 'b-', label="Salinity (psu)")  
plt.legend(loc='upper center', numpoints=1, bbox_to_anchor=(0.5, -0.05),        ncol=2, fancybox=True, shadow=True)

plt.savefig('data.png')  
plt.show()  
f.close()
plt.close()

I found very important to use plt.show after saving the figure, otherwise it won't work.figure exported in png


The Solution :

import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import matplotlib
matplotlib.style.use('ggplot')
ts = pd.Series(np.random.randn(1000), index=pd.date_range('1/1/2000', periods=1000))
ts = ts.cumsum()
plt.figure()
ts.plot()
plt.savefig("foo.png", bbox_inches='tight')

If you do want to display the image as well as saving the image use:

%matplotlib inline

after import matplotlib


import datetime
import numpy as np
from matplotlib.backends.backend_pdf import PdfPages
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Create the PdfPages object to which we will save the pages:
# The with statement makes sure that the PdfPages object is closed properly at
# the end of the block, even if an Exception occurs.
with PdfPages('multipage_pdf.pdf') as pdf:
    plt.figure(figsize=(3, 3))
    plt.plot(range(7), [3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9, 2], 'r-o')
    plt.title('Page One')
    pdf.savefig()  # saves the current figure into a pdf page
    plt.close()

    plt.rc('text', usetex=True)
    plt.figure(figsize=(8, 6))
    x = np.arange(0, 5, 0.1)
    plt.plot(x, np.sin(x), 'b-')
    plt.title('Page Two')
    pdf.savefig()
    plt.close()

    plt.rc('text', usetex=False)
    fig = plt.figure(figsize=(4, 5))
    plt.plot(x, x*x, 'ko')
    plt.title('Page Three')
    pdf.savefig(fig)  # or you can pass a Figure object to pdf.savefig
    plt.close()

    # We can also set the file's metadata via the PdfPages object:
    d = pdf.infodict()
    d['Title'] = 'Multipage PDF Example'
    d['Author'] = u'Jouni K. Sepp\xe4nen'
    d['Subject'] = 'How to create a multipage pdf file and set its metadata'
    d['Keywords'] = 'PdfPages multipage keywords author title subject'
    d['CreationDate'] = datetime.datetime(2009, 11, 13)
    d['ModDate'] = datetime.datetime.today()

While the question has been answered, I'd like to add some useful tips when using savefig. The file format can be specified by the extension:

savefig('foo.png')
savefig('foo.pdf')

Will give a rasterized or vectorized output respectively, both which could be useful. In addition, you'll find that pylab leaves a generous, often undesirable, whitespace around the image. Remove it with:

savefig('foo.png', bbox_inches='tight')

If you don't like the concept of the "current" figure, do:

import matplotlib.image as mpimg

img = mpimg.imread("src.png")
mpimg.imsave("out.png", img)

After using the plot() and other functions to create the content you want, you could use a clause like this to select between plotting to the screen or to file:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

fig = plt.figure(figuresize=4, 5)
# use plot(), etc. to create your plot.

# Pick one of the following lines to uncomment
# save_file = None
# save_file = os.path.join(your_directory, your_file_name)  

if save_file:
    plt.savefig(save_file)
    plt.close(fig)
else:
    plt.show()

Just found this link on the MatPlotLib documentation addressing exactly this issue: http://matplotlib.org/faq/howto_faq.html#generate-images-without-having-a-window-appear

They say that the easiest way to prevent the figure from popping up is to use a non-interactive backend (eg. Agg), via matplotib.use(<backend>), eg:

import matplotlib
matplotlib.use('Agg')
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
plt.plot([1,2,3])
plt.savefig('myfig')

I still personally prefer using plt.close( fig ), since then you have the option to hide certain figures (during a loop), but still display figures for post-loop data processing. It is probably slower than choosing a non-interactive backend though - would be interesting if someone tested that.


As others have said, plt.savefig() or fig1.savefig() is indeed the way to save an image.

However I've found that in certain cases (eg. with Spyder having plt.ion(): interactive mode = On) the figure is always shown. I work around this by forcing the closing of the figure window in my giant loop, so I don't have a million open figures during the loop:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
fig, ax = plt.subplots( nrows=1, ncols=1 )  # create figure & 1 axis
ax.plot([0,1,2], [10,20,3])
fig.savefig('path/to/save/image/to.png')   # save the figure to file
plt.close(fig)    # close the figure

The other answers are correct. However, I sometimes find that I want to open the figure object later. For example, I might want to change the label sizes, add a grid, or do other processing. In a perfect world, I would simply rerun the code generating the plot, and adapt the settings. Alas, the world is not perfect. Therefore, in addition to saving to PDF or PNG, I add:

with open('some_file.pkl', "wb") as fp:
    pickle.dump(fig, fp, protocol=4)

Like this, I can later load the figure object and manipulate the settings as I please.

I also write out the stack with the source-code and locals() dictionary for each function/method in the stack, so that I can later tell exactly what generated the figure.

NB: Be careful, as sometimes this method generates huge files.


You can either do:

plt.show(hold=False)
plt.savefig('name.pdf')

and remember to let savefig finish before closing the GUI plot. This way you can see the image beforehand.

Alternatively, you can look at it with plt.show() Then close the GUI and run the script again, but this time replace plt.show() with plt.savefig().

Alternatively, you can use

fig, ax = plt.figure(nrows=1, ncols=1)
plt.plot(...)
plt.show()
fig.savefig('out.pdf')

#write the code for the plot     
plt.savefig("filename.png")

The file will be saved in the same directory as the python/Jupyter file running


Update: See the bottom of the answer for a slightly better way of doing it.
Update #2: I've figured out changing legend title fonts too.
Update #3: There is a bug in Matplotlib 2.0.0 that's causing tick labels for logarithmic axes to revert to the default font. Should be fixed in 2.0.1 but I've included the workaround in the 2nd part of the answer.

This answer is for anyone trying to change all the fonts, including for the legend, and for anyone trying to use different fonts and sizes for each thing. It does not use rc (which doesn't seem to work for me). It is rather cumbersome but I could not get to grips with any other method personally. It basically combines ryggyr's answer here with other answers on SO.

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

# Set the font dictionaries (for plot title and axis titles)
title_font = {'fontname':'Arial', 'size':'16', 'color':'black', 'weight':'normal',
              'verticalalignment':'bottom'} # Bottom vertical alignment for more space
axis_font = {'fontname':'Arial', 'size':'14'}

# Set the font properties (for use in legend)   
font_path = 'C:\Windows\Fonts\Arial.ttf'
font_prop = font_manager.FontProperties(fname=font_path, size=14)

ax = plt.subplot() # Defines ax variable by creating an empty plot

# Set the tick labels font
for label in (ax.get_xticklabels() + ax.get_yticklabels()):
    label.set_fontname('Arial')
    label.set_fontsize(13)

x = np.linspace(0, 10)
y = x + np.random.normal(x) # Just simulates some data

plt.plot(x, y, 'b+', label='Data points')
plt.xlabel("x axis", **axis_font)
plt.ylabel("y axis", **axis_font)
plt.title("Misc graph", **title_font)
plt.legend(loc='lower right', prop=font_prop, numpoints=1)
plt.text(0, 0, "Misc text", **title_font)
plt.show()

The benefit of this method is that, by having several font dictionaries, you can choose different fonts/sizes/weights/colours for the various titles, choose the font for the tick labels, and choose the font for the legend, all independently.


UPDATE:

I have worked out a slightly different, less cluttered approach that does away with font dictionaries, and allows any font on your system, even .otf fonts. To have separate fonts for each thing, just write more font_path and font_prop like variables.

import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import matplotlib.font_manager as font_manager
import matplotlib.ticker
# Workaround for Matplotlib 2.0.0 log axes bug https://github.com/matplotlib/matplotlib/issues/8017 :
matplotlib.ticker._mathdefault = lambda x: '\\mathdefault{%s}'%x 

# Set the font properties (can use more variables for more fonts)
font_path = 'C:\Windows\Fonts\AGaramondPro-Regular.otf'
font_prop = font_manager.FontProperties(fname=font_path, size=14)

ax = plt.subplot() # Defines ax variable by creating an empty plot

# Define the data to be plotted
x = np.linspace(0, 10)
y = x + np.random.normal(x)
plt.plot(x, y, 'b+', label='Data points')

for label in (ax.get_xticklabels() + ax.get_yticklabels()):
    label.set_fontproperties(font_prop)
    label.set_fontsize(13) # Size here overrides font_prop

plt.title("Exponentially decaying oscillations", fontproperties=font_prop,
          size=16, verticalalignment='bottom') # Size here overrides font_prop
plt.xlabel("Time", fontproperties=font_prop)
plt.ylabel("Amplitude", fontproperties=font_prop)
plt.text(0, 0, "Misc text", fontproperties=font_prop)

lgd = plt.legend(loc='lower right', prop=font_prop) # NB different 'prop' argument for legend
lgd.set_title("Legend", prop=font_prop)

plt.show()

Hopefully this is a comprehensive answer







python matplotlib plot