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Matplotlib logo.svg
Screenshot of Matplotlib plots and code
Screenshot of Matplotlib plots and code
Original author(s)John D. Hunter
Developer(s)Michael Droettboom, et al.
Initial release2003; 16 years ago (2003)[1]
Stable release
3.1.1 / 1 July 2019; 5 months ago (2019-07-01)[2]
Preview release
3.2.0rc2 / 5 November 2019; 34 days ago (2019-11-05)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inPython
  • cairo
  • Anti-Grain Geometry
Edit this at Wikidata
Operating systemCross-platform
LicenseMatplotlib license

Matplotlib is a plotting library for the Python programming language and its numerical mathematics extension NumPy. It provides an object-oriented API for embedding plots into applications using general-purpose GUI toolkits like Tkinter, wxPython, Qt, or GTK+. There is also a procedural "pylab" interface based on a state machine (like OpenGL), designed to closely resemble that of MATLAB, though its use is discouraged.[3] SciPy makes use of Matplotlib.

Matplotlib was originally written by John D. Hunter, has an active development community,[4] and is distributed under a BSD-style license. Michael Droettboom was nominated as matplotlib's lead developer shortly before John Hunter's death in August 2012,[5] and further joined by Thomas Caswell.[6][7]

Matplotlib 2.0.x supports Python versions 2.7 through 3.6. Python3 support started with Matplotlib 1.2. Matplotlib 1.4 is the last version to support Python 2.6.[8] Matplotlib has pledged to not support Python 2 past 2020 by signing the Python 3 Statement.[9]

Comparison with MATLAB[edit]

Pyplot is a Matplotlib module which provides a MATLAB-like interface.[10] Matplotlib is designed to be as usable as MATLAB, with the ability to use Python, and the advantage of being free and open-source.



Several toolkits are available which extend Matplotlib functionality. Some are separate downloads, others ship with the Matplotlib source code but have external dependencies.[11]

  • Basemap: map plotting with various map projections, coastlines, and political boundaries[12]
  • Cartopy: a mapping library featuring object-oriented map projection definitions, and arbitrary point, line, polygon and image transformation capabilities.[13] (Matplotlib v1.2 and above)
  • Excel tools: utilities for exchanging data with Microsoft Excel
  • GTK tools: interface to the GTK+ library
  • Qt interface
  • Mplot3d: 3-D plots
  • Natgrid: interface to the natgrid library for gridding irregularly spaced data.
  • matplotlib2tikz: export to Pgfplots for smooth integration into LaTeX documents[14]

Related projects[edit]


  1. ^ "Copyright Policy".
  2. ^ "Releases – matplotlib".
  3. ^ "Matplotlib coding styles".
  4. ^ "Matplotlib github stats".
  5. ^ "Announcing Michael Droettboom as the lead Matplotlib developer".
  6. ^ "Matplotlib Lead Developer Explains Why He Can't Fix the Docs—But You Can – NumFOCUS". NumFOCUS. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  7. ^ "Credits – Matplotlib 2.2.2 documentation". Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  8. ^ "Installing – Matplotlib 2.0.2 documentation". Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  9. ^ "Add Matplotlib to list by takluyver · Pull Request #20 · python3statement/". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  10. ^ Matplotlib – Introduction
  11. ^ "Toolkits".
  12. ^ Whitaker, Jeffrey. "The Matplotlib Basemap Toolkit User's Guide (v. 1.0.5)". Matplotlib Basemap Toolkit documentation. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  13. ^ Elson, Philip. "Cartopy". Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  14. ^ Schlömer, Nico. "matplotlib2tikz". Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Bigglessimple, elegant python plotting". Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Chaco".
  17. ^ " on". Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  18. ^ "PyCha".
  19. ^ "PyPlotter".
  20. ^ "Welcome to Bokeh".

External links[edit]