How to change plot background color? How to change plot background color? python python

How to change plot background color?

Use the set_facecolor(color) method of the axes object, which you've created one of the following ways:

  • You created a figure and axis/es together

    fig, ax = plt.subplots(nrows=1, ncols=1)
  • You created a figure, then axis/es later

    fig = plt.figure()ax = fig.add_subplot(1, 1, 1) # nrows, ncols, index
  • You used the stateful API (if you're doing anything more than a few lines, and especially if you have multiple plots, the object-oriented methods above make life easier because you can refer to specific figures, plot on certain axes, and customize either)

    plt.plot(...)ax = plt.gca()

Then you can use set_facecolor:

ax.set_facecolor('xkcd:salmon')ax.set_facecolor((1.0, 0.47, 0.42))

example plot with pink background on the axes

As a refresher for what colors can be:


Matplotlib recognizes the following formats to specify a color:

  • an RGB or RGBA tuple of float values in [0, 1] (e.g., (0.1, 0.2, 0.5) or (0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 0.3));
  • a hex RGB or RGBA string (e.g., '#0F0F0F' or '#0F0F0F0F');
  • a string representation of a float value in [0, 1] inclusive for gray level (e.g., '0.5');
  • one of {'b', 'g', 'r', 'c', 'm', 'y', 'k', 'w'};
  • a X11/CSS4 color name;
  • a name from the xkcd color survey; prefixed with 'xkcd:' (e.g., 'xkcd:sky blue');
  • one of {'tab:blue', 'tab:orange', 'tab:green', 'tab:red', 'tab:purple', 'tab:brown', 'tab:pink', 'tab:gray', 'tab:olive', 'tab:cyan'} which are the Tableau Colors from the ‘T10’ categorical palette (which is the default color cycle);
  • a “CN” color spec, i.e. 'C' followed by a single digit, which is an index into the default property cycle (matplotlib.rcParams['axes.prop_cycle']); the indexing occurs at artist creation time and defaults to black if the cycle does not include color.

All string specifications of color, other than “CN”, are case-insensitive.

One method is to manually set the default for the axis background color within your script (see Customizing matplotlib):

import matplotlib.pyplot as pltplt.rcParams['axes.facecolor'] = 'black'

This is in contrast to Nick T's method which changes the background color for a specific axes object. Resetting the defaults is useful if you're making multiple different plots with similar styles and don't want to keep changing different axes objects.

Note: The equivalent for

fig = plt.figure()fig.patch.set_facecolor('black')

from your question is:

plt.rcParams['figure.facecolor'] = 'black'

Something like this? Use the axisbg keyword to subplot:

>>> from matplotlib.figure import Figure>>> from matplotlib.backends.backend_agg import FigureCanvasAgg as FigureCanvas>>> figure = Figure()>>> canvas = FigureCanvas(figure)>>> axes = figure.add_subplot(1, 1, 1, axisbg='red')>>> axes.plot([1,2,3])[<matplotlib.lines.Line2D object at 0x2827e50>]>>> canvas.print_figure('red-bg.png')

(Granted, not a scatter plot, and not a black background.)

enter image description here