TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The python plotting library matplotlib will by default add margins to any plot that it generates. They can be reduced to a certain degree through some options of savefig(), namely bbox_inches='tight' and pad_inches=0. Even with those options, some margins will always remain, though.

If a plot generated by matplotlib is to be used in conjunction with pgfplots and the addplot graphics feature, those margins need to be predictable (and ideally non-existent).

Q: How can these margins be got rid of completely?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as pl

x = np.linspace(0, 10, 100)
y = np.sin(x)

fig = pl.figure(figsize=(8,5))
ax = pl.gca()
pl.plot(x, y)

pl.subplots_adjust(left=0, right=1, top=1, bottom=0)

plot without margins

This generates a sine plot completely without margins. The resulting pdf can then be integrated into a pgfplots plot like this:

    axis on top,
    plot graphics/xmin=0,
    plot graphics/xmax=10,
    plot graphics/ymin=-1,
    plot graphics/ymax=1,
    \addplot graphics {out};
share|improve this answer
This line extent = ax.get_window_extent().transformed(fig.dpi_scale_trans.inverted()) gave unexpected result in my case as well as the bbox_inches="tight". I replaced it by subplots_adjust(left=0., right=1., top=1., bottom=0.) and no bbox_inches option. – Alfred M. Jun 12 '13 at 12:58
Interesting; that sounds a lot less hackish. Would you be willing to make this into a complete code snippet and post it as an answer so that I can accept it? – anonymous Jun 12 '13 at 13:50
You may as well add it to your answer. Thanks. – Alfred M. Jun 12 '13 at 14:24

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.