So using \addplot+ gives specific points on my curve vs \addplot which just gives me a curve? How does \addplot+ select the points it graphs etc?

  • 7
    When you use \addplot, the default styles are over written. When \addplot+ the changes we make are appended not replaced.
    – user11232
    Nov 1, 2015 at 5:26
  • @harish: sounds like an answer, my friend :)
    – cmhughes
    Nov 1, 2015 at 9:01
  • @cmhughes Hi Chris, Long time...... :-) Looks like you are busy. :). Answer added. Thanks.
    – user11232
    Nov 1, 2015 at 10:25
  • It uses /.style or /.append style handlers depending on the + sign
    – percusse
    Nov 2, 2015 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


The answer for your question lies in section 3.3.2, page 24, of pgfplots manual:

enter image description here

So, to be brief, When you add many \addplot lines inside the axis environment like:

      \addplot {x};
      \addplot {x-1};
      \addplot {x-2};
      \addplot {x-3};
      \addplot {x-4};

Every \addplot directive receives a pre-defined style (line color, marker style etc) through a pre-defined cycle list that is automatically chosen depending on the index of the current \addplot instruction. If you want to add some of your styles manually (like I want red colour instead of blue, say), you can add them through options to \addplot like \addplot[<your options>]. Now the question is whether you want your own style (your options) to be appended to or replace one of these cycle lists assigned. This is decided by the + sign. If you use \addplot+ [<your options>], your style is appended to and by \addplot[<your options>] , your options will replace the assigned cycle list.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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