# 9.1.2. Pylab background¶

We are learning how to use Python and numpy and matplotlib. All are excellent computational tools for all kinds of scientific, mathematical, and computing purposes

IPython notebook demoing pylab/matplotlib: Collection of various Pylab/Matplotlib demo scripts

Basic intro inspiring some of the examples discussed here: Scipy matplotlib plotting tutorial.

Shorter prelude tutorial: Nicolas Rougier’s 2012 Euroscipy tutorial.

For a really nice video intro to numpy and matplotlib, see Eric Jones’s great tutorial

For the visually impaired who (like me) want to work through a well-structured written introduction with downloadable examples, see this Scipy lecture by Nicolas Rougier, Mike Müller, and Gaël Varoquaux.

For more details on how to use pyplot (the matplotlib component you use here), go here, but be patient. The documentation and examples are not well-organized and it helps to approach them with some prior knowledge.

For a very focused and related set of recipes that should be read in sequence, helpful once you’ve got the basics, go to the Matplotlib recipes page.

For a set of unrelated matplotlib recipes, go to the matplotlib recipes pages

For a great website providing MAcOS framework binaries for a host of image/GIS libraries (including the open source Geometry engine GEOS ), look in the Kyng Chaos Wiki

For very hasty introduction for those just trying to get the assignment done, see below.

## 9.1.2.1. Basic matplotlib concepts¶

Note

The concepts discussed here are demoed in more detail in
a notebook `.ipynb`

In matplotlib parlance, the Python object corresponding
to the entire canvas on which the graph is plotted
is called a **figure**. A figure may have one or more subplots
(it is often convenienet to arrange plots side by by side or in
groups). The subplots are called **axes**.

To start plotting, decide on the number of subplots and
their arrangement (2 by 3, 4 by 1, etcetera) and call
`subplots`

(note the ‘s’):

```
>>> fig, ((ax1, ax2), (ax3, ax4)) = plt.subplots(2, 2, sharex=True, sharey=True)
```

This gives you figure with 4 plots arranged in a 2x2 square.

## 9.1.2.2. Simple pylab demo¶

Here is a quick demo of how to use pylab and save the results:

Use show() if you want to see the figure.
if you dont want to show the figure, you just save it as a file with this command, which must be included before the **show** command.:

```
savefig('quadratic.png')
```

The **show** command brings up the same kind of graph window you
saw above with NLTK frequency distributions. You can save your graph
the same way you did above.

To use loglog axes replace the plot command with the loglog command:

Having nothing to do with this exercise, here’s a more complex example with a pie chart: