For most of the functions I have to plot with \addplot of pgfplots, I have to set [samples=200] to make them look smooth enough. I was wondering if there is some option to set the default sample number to a specific value so that I don't have to type it over and over again. I could not find one.

Is there such an option?


1 Answer 1


Many options in the pgf, TikZ and pgfplots family have all their options defaulted in some way. This also means that you can set them wherever you want and obtain a default.

In this case you can set the option in the preample or where-ever needed as this:


This will make all subsequent plots using the samples key use 200 samples.

Inspired by cmhughes, for another question I have answered describing the scopes of keys and how they can be used in a short generalized manner, see Global variables for TikZ drawings

  • 1
    Thanks. I actually tried this, but seems I made a typo... sample instead of samples...
    – Foo Bar
    Oct 10, 2012 at 18:05
  • 3
    and of course, it can be overwritten locally, e.g samples=15
    – cmhughes
    Oct 10, 2012 at 18:26
  • @cmhughes maybe this is actually a dublicate of my added link?
    – nickpapior
    Oct 10, 2012 at 19:04
  • 1
    @zeroth agreed; +1 for both :)
    – cmhughes
    Oct 10, 2012 at 19:50

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