Get legend as a separate picture in Matplotlib


I'm developing a Web application and want to display a figure and its legend in different locations on the page. Which means I need to save the legend as a separate png file. Is this possible in Matplotlib in a more or less straightforward way?

8/28/2014 9:19:59 AM

Accepted Answer

This could work:

import pylab
fig = pylab.figure()
figlegend = pylab.figure(figsize=(3,2))
ax = fig.add_subplot(111)
lines = ax.plot(range(10), pylab.randn(10), range(10), pylab.randn(10))
figlegend.legend(lines, ('one', 'two'), 'center')

alt text

12/26/2010 5:01:19 PM

use pylab.figlegend(..) and get_legend_handles_labels(..):

import pylab, numpy 
x = numpy.arange(10)

# create a figure for the data
figData = pylab.figure()
ax = pylab.gca()

for i in xrange(3):
    pylab.plot(x, x * (i+1), label='line %d' % i)

# create a second figure for the legend
figLegend = pylab.figure(figsize = (1.5,1.3))

# produce a legend for the objects in the other figure
pylab.figlegend(*ax.get_legend_handles_labels(), loc = 'upper left')

# save the two figures to files

It can be tricky though to get the size of the legend figure right in an automated manner.

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