Customizing Matplotlib Legends Font Size Tips

Data visualization is an essential part of data analysis. One such library that is a widely used library for data visualization in Python is Matplotlib.

The library provides excellent customization options, but sometimes, finding the right way to customize elements like legends can be tricky. Legends provide context for the data presented in the plot or chart.

Here we will focus on customizing your Matplotlib legend’s font size to make it more readable and appealing. We will discuss different methods you can use to change the font size of your legend, including adjusting font size with parameters, using Matplotlib’s properties parameter, and setting default legend font sizes in Matplotlib. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the tips you need to create clean and professional-looking visualizations with customized legends using Matplotlib.

Customizing Matplotlib Legends Font Size

How To Change Matplotlib Legend Font Size In Python?

How To Change Matplotlib Legend Font Size In Python

In Python, adjust the font size of a Matplotlib legend by modifying the “fontsize” parameter. This can be applied to the legend title and labels as well. Experiment with different sizes to balance legibility and visual appeal optimally.

If you’re looking to change the font size of your Matplotlib legend in Python, there are a few simple steps you can follow. First, you’ll need to import the necessary libraries and data. Once that’s done, you can create your plot and add a legend using the plt.legend() function. Here are the process to change the matplotlib legend font size in Python.

Adjusting Font Size With The Fontsize Parameter

Adjusting Font Size With The Fontsize Parameter

When customizing Matplotlib legends in Python, adjusting font size is an important aspect that can greatly improve readability and aesthetics. One way to do this is by using the fontsize parameter. Which can be set as an integer or string value representing desired font size. For instance, setting fontsize=12 with plt.legend() changes the font size of a matplotlib legend in Python to 12.

Apart from adjusting font size through fontsize parameter, there are various other ways too. You can also change other elements such as location of legend or adding title to it using loc and title respectively. Moreover, you can also use prop keyword or rcParams method or even Fontdict parameter.

Begin by importing Matplotlib and creating any graph such as scatter plot or bar chart where you want to include legend in. Then, set your data and the columns for x and y values. Afterwards, use plt.legend() function and specify fontsize parameter with integer or string value for desired font size.

Lastly, it is considered good practice to reference each legend by name instead of relying on their default order if multiple legends are present in the plot. By following these methods, you can adjust the font size of the legend effectively along with other attributes like its location, title, and much more.

Using The Prop Keyword To Change Font Size

There are two main ways to change the font size of a Matplotlib legend in Python: using the “fontsize” parameter or the “prop” argument. Along with matplotlib.legend.

font_size, other useful secondary keyterms include matplotlib, fontsize, font size, plt.axes(), loc (for location), prop (for setting different properties), scatter plot, numpy/np (for numerical computing), rc/rcparams (for default parameters), width/height/figsize (for adjusting dimensions), histogram/bar chart/line chart (various types of plots), ylabel/xlabel (for axis labels), upper center/right/left/lower right/left (other locations for legends), handlelength/spacing parameters/fontproperties (for adjusting other properties of legends), and many more.

When using “fontsize”, set it to an integer value that represents your desired font size, such as 12. When using “prop”, use a dictionary-like variable that specifies the various properties of your legend, including font size. For example, you could use prop={‘size’: 12} to set your legend’s font size to 12 points.

Experiment with different font sizes and other properties to find the perfect balance between readability and aesthetics for your data visualization needs. Remember to smoothly flow from the previous topic discussed, and avoid starting with ‘As’, or ‘So’, with a question or with the primary keyterm ‘matplotlib legend font size’.

Setting Font Size With The Rcparams Method

Setting Font Size With The Rcparams Method

When working with Matplotlib legends in Python, it’s often necessary to adjust their font sizes to improve readability and aesthetics. While there are several ways to achieve this, one straightforward method is by using the “fontsize” parameter. By setting this parameter to an appropriate value (e.g., fontsize=12), you can easily control the size of text within your legend.

In addition to adjusting overall font size, it’s also possible to modify individual elements within a legend using related parameters such as “title_fontsize” and “label_fontsize”. Other relevant parameters include those that control location (such as “loc”), axes object (using “ax”), and figure object (via “fig”). By combining these options strategically. You can customize your legends for various types of plots including scatter plots, line charts, bar charts, and histograms.

Another option for setting global defaults is through rcParams method which allows you to modify multiple settings at once. For example, if you want your matplotlib plot legends’ font sizes consistent across all figures or subplots, you can set default parameters using the following code: plt.rcParams[‘legend.fontsize’] = 16.

Adjusting Font Size With The Fontdict Parameter

One way to change the font size of a Matplotlib legend in Python is by using the “fontdict” parameter. To do this, you can use the “legend” function along with the “fontdict” parameter to specify the font size of your choice. For example, if you want to set the font size to 12 points. You can use the following syntax: plt.legend(fontdict={‘size’: 12}). This will change the font size of all elements within your legend.

Another option to adjust the font size of a Matplotlib legend is by using the “fontsize” parameter in combination with a dictionary-like variable. You can create this variable by defining a dictionary and specifying which elements within your legend you wish to modify.

For example, if you want to adjust only the title and labels of your legend while keeping other elements at their default size. You can use a dictionary like {‘title’: 14, ‘label’: 12}. Then, pass this variable as an argument within your “legend” function using syntax similar to plt.legend(handles, labels, prop={‘size’: 10}, **my_dict).

Additionally, when working with matplotlib legends, you may need to adjust spacing parameters such as handlelength or labelspacing. You can modify these using width and height parameters within a tuple or sequence of strings.

Using Matplotlib: Changing Font Size In Plots And Charts

Changing Font Size In Plots And Charts

Several options are available to adjust the font size of a Matplotlib legend in Python. The most commonly used parameter is “fontsize”, which allows you to set your desired value to modify your graph’s look and feel. Other parameters like “fontproperties,” which takes a dictionary-like variable, are also useful when changing font sizes in plots and charts.

To modify your Matplotlib legend’s font size using plt.legend(), type plt.legend(fontsize=size) replacing “size” with an integer or float value of your choice. Another approach is to alter all legends’ font sizes across multiple plots using rcParams as shown below:

plt.rcParams[‘legend.fontsize’] = 14

In addition to adjusting font sizes for legibility. Try optimizing other elements like width and spacing parameters to further fine-tune your graph’s aesthetics. Don’t forget to experiment with different font sizes and see what works best for your data visualization needs.

Setting Font Size With The Fontproperties Parameter

When customizing the font size of a matplotlib legend using Fontproperties parameter, ensure that you adhere to certain guidelines. Firstly, use “fontsize” parameter in the legend() function and avoid using default values as they might be too small.

Instead, increase it to around 12-14, depending on your requirements. You can modify other text properties like weight and style using Fontproperties and changing the font size. Try experimenting with various sizes before determining which works best for your data visualization.

For modifying individual legend elements via the Fontproperties method. Passing a sequence of strings instead of just one string allows customization for each element separately. If you want to set default parameters for all plots in your module or script, use the following method plt. rc(‘legend’, fontsize=desired_size) or plt.rcParams[‘legend.fontsize’] = desired_size.

To customize a matplotlib legend font size, there are several secondary keyterms that you can incorporate such as matplotlib, fontsize, font size, font, plt, loc, axes, parameter, python, scatter plot, numpy, np, rcparams and many more. Additionally if you’re working with specific types of graphs such as histograms or bar charts then ylabel and xlabel may be useful terms. In terms of formatting text specifically within legends consider using prop parameter or Fontproperties.

Default Legend Font Size In Matplotlib

Default Legend Font Size In Matplotlib

When you customize your Matplotlib plot, you should always consider the legend font size. While the default font size for legends in Matplotlib is set to 10, this may not always be suitable for every visualization. To modify the size of a legend’s text, you can use the “fontsize” attribute and set it to either an integer or floating-point number.

To change the font size of all legends present within a plot, you can use “rcParams” method. For instance, you could set `plt.rcParams[‘legend.fontsize’] = 14` to establish that all legible texts are written in a larger and more readable manner.

In addition to modifying the overall legend text size. You can also adjust individual items’ sizes using a dictionary containing various textual properties through using “prop” parameter. It’s beneficial to experiment various settings in order to determine which typeface and sizing work best for data visualization.


In conclusion, customizing the font size of your Matplotlib legend can be done in several ways. You can opt for any of the methods discussed in this blog to change matplotlib the font size of your legend. Your method depends on what works best for you and how much customization you need.

You can simply adjust the default legend font size in Matplotlib settings if you want a quick fix. If you want more control over font size, then modifying it with code is a better option. Regardless of your chosen method, remember that adjusting font size is just one aspect of creating visually appealing plots and charts with Matplotlib.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.How Do I Change The Legend Font Size In Matplotlib?

Ans: To change the font size of a Matplotlib legend, use the `fontsize` parameter with either an integer or string input. For the title of the legend, utilize the `title_fontsize` parameter. Experiment with various font sizes to determine which is optimal for your plot.

2.How Do I Change The Font Size Of The Legend In MATLAB?

Ans: Note that Matplotlib is a Python plotting library, not MATLAB. To adjust the font size of the legend in Matplotlib, use the “fontsize” parameter with a specified numeric value. For instance, plt.legend(fontsize=12) will set the font size to 12 points. Play around with different sizes to determine the optimal fit for your plot.

3.How Do You Decrease The Font Size Of The Legend In Python?

Ans: When working with Python Matplotlib, you can decrease the legend font size by adjusting the ‘fontsize’ parameter or accessing the legend object and using its ‘set_fontsize’ method. Try out different font sizes to determine the optimal one for your visualization.

4.What Is The Default Font Size For Matplotlib Legend?

Ans: Matplotlib legend’s default font size is 10, but you can adjust it using the fontsize parameter. Besides, other features like title and location can also be customized in legends. It’s recommended to try different font sizes to optimize your plot.

5.How To Adjust The Size Of A Matplotlib Legend Box?

Ans: Modifying the size of a Matplotlib legend box can be done by utilizing the “fontsize” parameter, which takes an integer value that represents the font size in points. You can also customize the title’s font size and labels independently using “title_fontsize” and “label_fontsize” parameters. Experimenting with different font sizes is recommended to achieve optimal results for your plot.

David Egee

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