I have the following code from pgfplots's web site. I execute it but I get a full pdf file as shown below:

enter image description here

However, I would like to reproduce the figure as given here http://pgfplots.sourceforge.net/example_8.pdf. How can I do it?

enter image description here

% translate with >> pdflatex -shell-escape <file>

% This file is an extract of the PGFPLOTS manual, copyright by Christian Feuersaenger.
% Feel free to use it as long as you cite the pgfplots manual properly.
% See
%   http://pgfplots.sourceforge.net/pgfplots.pdf
% for the complete manual.
% Any required input files (for <plot table> or <plot file> or the table package) can be downloaded
% at
% http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/graphics/pgf/contrib/pgfplots/doc/latex/
% and
% http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/graphics/pgf/contrib/pgfplots/doc/latex/plotdata/



    xlabel={Degrees of freedom},
    ylabel={$L_2$ Error}
\addplot coordinates {
    (5,8.312e-02)    (17,2.547e-02)   (49,7.407e-03)
    (129,2.102e-03)  (321,5.874e-04)  (769,1.623e-04)
    (1793,4.442e-05) (4097,1.207e-05) (9217,3.261e-06)

\addplot coordinates{
    (7,8.472e-02)    (31,3.044e-02)    (111,1.022e-02)
    (351,3.303e-03)  (1023,1.039e-03)  (2815,3.196e-04)
    (7423,9.658e-05) (18943,2.873e-05) (47103,8.437e-06)

\addplot coordinates{
    (9,7.881e-02)     (49,3.243e-02)    (209,1.232e-02)
    (769,4.454e-03)   (2561,1.551e-03)  (7937,5.236e-04)
    (23297,1.723e-04) (65537,5.545e-05) (178177,1.751e-05)

\addplot coordinates{
    (11,6.887e-02)    (71,3.177e-02)     (351,1.341e-02)
    (1471,5.334e-03)  (5503,2.027e-03)   (18943,7.415e-04)
    (61183,2.628e-04) (187903,9.063e-05) (553983,3.053e-05)

\addplot coordinates{
    (13,5.755e-02)     (97,2.925e-02)     (545,1.351e-02)
    (2561,5.842e-03)   (10625,2.397e-03)  (40193,9.414e-04)
    (141569,3.564e-04) (471041,1.308e-04) (1496065,4.670e-05)
  • Just use \documentclass[margin=3mm]{standalone} instead.
    – Sigur
    Jul 7 '15 at 19:44

If you want to compile a file just to produce some figure, you can use standalone class.


The margin around the image you can set up using the margin option.

enter image description here


Your problem is not about the pgfplots package indeed, you should use better document classes instead. Use document classes like standalone and define options like border.


If the white margins are in your pdf file, you can use pdfcrop to remove them (I use pdfcrop on Linux). You can specify new margins in points (default 0). Example usage:

pdfcrop --margins 10 input.pdf output.pdf

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