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How to Place Legend Outside of the Plot in Matplotlib?

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 26 Nov, 2022
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In this article, we will see how to put the legend outside the plot. 

Let’s discuss some concepts :

  • Matplotlib: Matplotlib is an amazing visualization library in Python for 2D plots of arrays. Matplotlib is a multi-platform data visualization library built on NumPy arrays and designed to work with the broader SciPy stack. It was introduced by John Hunter in the year 2002.
  • Legend: A legend is an area describing the elements of the graph. In the Matplotlib library, there’s a function called legend() which is used to Place a legend on the axes. The attribute Loc in legend() is used to specify the location of the legend. The default value of loc is loc=  “best” (upper left).

Put the legend outside the plot

As, we can see that the above figure legends overlapped on the graph i.e; incomplete information. To solve this problem we need to place the legend outside the plot.

The syntax to set the legend outside is as given below:

matplotlib.pyplot.legend(bbox_to_anchor=(x,y))

Example 1: 

Matplotlib set legend upper-left outside the plot.

Python3




import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
 
x = np.linspace(0, 10, 100)
 
plt.plot(x, np.sin(x), label="sin(x)")
plt.plot(x, np.cos(x), label="cos(x)")
 
 
plt.legend(bbox_to_anchor=(1.05, 1.0), loc='upper left')
plt.tight_layout()
plt.show()

Output :

 

Example 2: 

Matplotlib set legend center-left outside the plot.

Python3




import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
 
x = np.linspace(0, 10, 100)
 
plt.plot(x, np.sin(x), label="sin(x)")
plt.plot(x, np.cos(x), label="cos(x)")
 
 
plt.legend(bbox_to_anchor = (1.25, 0.6), loc='center right')
plt.tight_layout()
plt.show()

Output:

 

Example 3: 

Matplotlib set legend lower-right outside the plot.

Python3




import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
 
x = np.linspace(0, 10, 100)
 
plt.plot(x, np.sin(x), label="sin(x)")
plt.plot(x, np.cos(x), label="cos(x)")
 
 
plt.legend(bbox_to_anchor =(1.44,-0.10), loc='lower right')
plt.tight_layout()
plt.show()

Output:

 

Example 4: 

Matplotlib set legend upper-center outside the plot.

Python3




import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
 
x = np.linspace(0, 10, 100)
 
plt.plot(x, np.sin(x), label="sin(x)")
plt.plot(x, np.cos(x), label="cos(x)")
 
 
plt.legend(bbox_to_anchor=(0.5, 1.2), loc='upper center')
plt.tight_layout()
plt.show()

Output :

 

 

Example 5: 

Matplotlib set legend lower-center outside the plot

Python3




import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
 
x = np.linspace(0, 10, 100)
 
plt.plot(x, np.sin(x), label="sin(x)")
plt.plot(x, np.cos(x), label="cos(x)")
 
 
plt.legend(bbox_to_anchor =(0.5,-0.27), loc='lower center')
plt.tight_layout()
plt.show()

 

Example 6: 

Place with subplots Legend Outside of the Plot 

Python3




# importing packages
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
 
# create data
x = np.linspace(-5, 5, 1000)
colors=[['c','g'], ['y','r']]
 
# make subplot and plots the graphs
fig, ax = plt.subplots(2, 2)
for i in range(2):
    ax[0][i].plot(x, np.sin(x+i),
                  color = colors[0][i],
                  label = "y=sin(x+{})".format(i))
     
    ax[1][i].plot(x, np.sin(x+i),
                  color = colors[1][i],
                  label = "y=sin(x+{})".format(i))
     
# set legend position
fig.legend(bbox_to_anchor=(1.3, 0.6))
 
# set spacing to subplots
fig.tight_layout() 
plt.show()

Output :


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