How to make IPython notebook matplotlib plot inline
Question:
I am trying to use IPython notebook on MacOS X with Python 2.7.2 and IPython 1.1.0.
I cannot get matplotlib graphics to show up inline.
import matplotlib
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
%matplotlib inline
I have also tried %pylab inline
and the ipython command line arguments pylab=inline
but this makes no difference.
x = np.linspace(0, 3*np.pi, 500)
plt.plot(x, np.sin(x**2))
plt.title('A simple chirp')
plt.show()
Instead of inline graphics, I get this:
<matplotlib.figure.Figure at 0x110b9c450>
And matplotlib.get_backend()
shows that I have the 'module://IPython.kernel.zmq.pylab.backend_inline'
backend.
Answers:
I found a workaround that is quite satisfactory. I installed Anaconda Python and this now works out of the box for me.
Use the %pylab inline
magic command.
I used %matplotlib inline
in the first cell of the notebook and it works. I think you should try:
%matplotlib inline
import matplotlib
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
You can also always start all your IPython kernels in inline mode by default by setting the following config options in your config files:
c.IPKernelApp.matplotlib=<CaselessStrEnum>
Default: None
Choices: ['auto', 'gtk', 'gtk3', 'inline', 'nbagg', 'notebook', 'osx', 'qt', 'qt4', 'qt5', 'tk', 'wx']
Configure matplotlib for interactive use with the default matplotlib backend.
I have to agree with foobarbecue (I don’t have enough recs to be able to simply insert a comment under his post):
It’s now recommended that python notebook isn’t started wit the argument pylab
, and according to Fernando Perez (creator of ipythonnb) %matplotlib inline
should be the initial notebook command.
I did the anaconda install but matplotlib is not plotting
It starts plotting when i did this
import matplotlib
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
%matplotlib inline
To make matplotlib inline by default in Jupyter (IPython 3):

Edit file
~/.ipython/profile_default/ipython_config.py

Add line
c.InteractiveShellApp.matplotlib = 'inline'
Please note that adding this line to ipython_notebook_config.py
would not work.
Otherwise it works well with Jupyter and IPython 3.1.0
If your matplotlib version is above 1.4, it is also possible to use
IPython 3.x and above
%matplotlib notebook
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
older versions
%matplotlib nbagg
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
Both will activate the nbagg backend, which enables interactivity.
You can simulate this problem with a syntax mistake, however, %matplotlib inline
won’t resolve the issue.
First an example of the right way to create a plot. Everything works as expected with the imports and magic that eNord9 supplied.
df_randNumbers1 = pd.DataFrame(np.random.randint(0,100,size=(100, 6)), columns=list('ABCDEF'))
df_randNumbers1.ix[:,["A","B"]].plot.kde()
However, by leaving the ()
off the end of the plot type you receive a somewhat ambiguous nonerror.
Erronious code:
df_randNumbers1.ix[:,["A","B"]].plot.kde
Example error:
<bound method FramePlotMethods.kde of <pandas.tools.plotting.FramePlotMethods object at 0x000001DDAF029588>>
Other than this one line message, there is no stack trace or other obvious reason to think you made a syntax error. The plot doesn’t print.
I had the same problem when I was running the plotting commands in separate cells in Jupyter:
In [1]: %matplotlib inline
import matplotlib
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
In [2]: x = np.array([1, 3, 4])
y = np.array([1, 5, 3])
In [3]: fig = plt.figure()
<Figure size 432x288 with 0 Axes> #this might be the problem
In [4]: ax = fig.add_subplot(1, 1, 1)
In [5]: ax.scatter(x, y)
Out[5]: <matplotlib.collections.PathCollection at 0x12341234> # CAN'T SEE ANY PLOT :(
In [6]: plt.show() # STILL CAN'T SEE IT :(
The problem was solved by merging the plotting commands into a single cell:
In [1]: %matplotlib inline
import matplotlib
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
In [2]: x = np.array([1, 3, 4])
y = np.array([1, 5, 3])
In [3]: fig = plt.figure()
ax = fig.add_subplot(1, 1, 1)
ax.scatter(x, y)
Out[3]: <matplotlib.collections.PathCollection at 0x12341234>
# AND HERE APPEARS THE PLOT AS DESIRED :)
If you’re using Jupyter notebooks in Visual Studio Code (VSCode) then the inline
backend doesn’t seem to work so you need to specify widget
/ipympl
(which you may need to install support for e.g. pip install ipympl
):
%matplotlib widget