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Difference Between cla(), clf() and close() Methods in Matplotlib
  • Last Updated : 13 Jan, 2021

Prerequisites: Matplotlib 

Matplotlib is a library in Python. It is a mathematical extension of Numpy Library. It is a comprehensive library for creating static, animated, and interactive visualizations in Python. Pyplot is a state-based interface to a Matplotlib module. The Pyplot can create many types of plot such as line graph, bar graph, histogram etc.

The cla(), clf() and close() are different methods/functions of Matplotlib. The difference between them is as follows:

cla(): This method in the pyplot module of the matplotlib library is used to clear the current axes.

Syntax:



matplotlib.pyplot.cla()

Example :

Python3

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import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
  
t = np.linspace(0.0, 2.0, 401)
s = np.sin(2 * np.pi * t)
  
fig, [ax, ax1] = plt.subplots(2, 1)
  
ax.set_ylabel('y-axis')
ax.plot(t, s)
ax.grid(True)
  
ax1.set_ylabel('y-axis')
ax1.set_xlabel('x-axis')
ax1.plot(t, s)
ax1.grid(True)
# Function call
ax1.cla()
  
fig.suptitle('matplotlib.pyplot.cla Example')
plt.show()

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Output:

The subplot ax1 content is cleared.

clf(): The method in the pyplot module of the matplotlib library is used to clear the entire current figure. It even clears the subplot. It leaves the window space open so that it can be reused by other plots.

Syntax:

matplotlib.pyplot.clf()

Example:

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import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
  
t = np.linspace(0.0, 2.0, 201)
s = np.sin(2 * np.pi * t)
  
fig, [ax, ax1] = plt.subplots(2, 1)
  
ax.set_ylabel('y-axis')
ax.plot(t, s)
ax.grid(True)
  
ax1.set_ylabel('y-axis')
ax1.set_xlabel('x-axis')
ax1.plot(t, s)
ax1.grid(True)
  
# Func. call
plt.clf()
  
fig.suptitle('matplotlib.pyplot.clf Example')
plt.show()

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Output:

The clf() function cleared the entire figure and only space is left.

close(): The method in the pyplot module of the matplotlib library is used to close the window of the plot. By default, it closes the current window. Since the window is closed there will no output in this method.

Syntax:

matplotlib.pyplot.close()

Example:

Python3

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close

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import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
  
t = np.linspace(0.0, 2.0, 201)
s = np.sin(2 * np.pi * t)
  
fig, [ax, ax1] = plt.subplots(2, 1)
  
ax.set_ylabel('y-axis')
ax.plot(t, s)
ax.grid(True)
  
ax1.set_ylabel('y-axis')
ax1.set_xlabel('x-axis')
ax1.plot(t, s)
ax1.grid(True)
  
# Function call
plt.close()
  
fig.suptitle('matplotlib.pyplot.close Example')
plt.show()

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Table of Difference Between cla() vs. clf() vs. close()

cla() clf() close()
Used to clear the current axes Used to clear the entire current figure Used to close the window of the plot
It only clears the current active plot Leaves the window space open so that it can be reused by other plots Terminates the plot completely
Doesn’t affect any other subplot It even clears the subplot. Closes the plots entirely

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