Importing matplotlib

Importing matplotlib

If you are using a distribution of Python (e.g. Anaconda or Canopy]), then matplotlib comes readily available.

In a python terminal, simply type the following:

import matplotlib

Assuming this works, you should receive no error messages. If the module is not available then you’ll need to have a look here.

The docs for matplotlib can be found here.

First time you’ve imported a module?

Modules are what make Python great - and there are plenty of them freely available. If ever there is something you think you need to code up from scratch, first have a look around to see if someone has already made a module that covers it - this saves you reinventing the wheel - you may be surprised to find that many of the things you’ll want to do have already been worked out!

Getting help on modules and functions

Each module available in python contains a variety of components including (functions)[]. To see what is available within a given module, module documentation can easily be found online - it is also possible to find a list of functions whilst you are on the Python command line. For example:

Following your initial statement - import matplotlib - now type matplotlib. and hit the tab key…

This will print out a list of the functions available within the matplotlib library. If there is a function you want to know more about, simply type help(matplotlib.function) or matplotlib.function? and the documentation will appear within your current terminal, usually offering a number of examples as how to make use of the function in question.

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