hashmuke hashmuke - 18 days ago 7
Python Question

pyplot combine multiple line labels in legend

I have data that results in multiple lines being plotted, I want to give these lines a single label in my legend. I think this can be better demonstrated using the example below,

a = np.array([[ 3.57, 1.76, 7.42, 6.52],
[ 1.57, 1.2 , 3.02, 6.88],
[ 2.23, 4.86, 5.12, 2.81],
[ 4.48, 1.38, 2.14, 0.86],
[ 6.68, 1.72, 8.56, 3.23]])

plt.plot(a[:,::2].T, a[:, 1::2].T, 'r', label='data_a')

plt.legend(loc='best')


As you can see at Out[23] the plot resulted in 5 distinct lines. The resulting plot looks like this
legend of multiple line plot

Is there any way that I can tell the plot method to avoid multiple labels? I don't want to use custom legend (where you specify the label and the line shape all at once) as much as I can.

Answer

I'd make a small helper function personally, if i planned on doing it often;

from matplotlib import pyplot
import numpy


a = numpy.array([[ 3.57,  1.76,  7.42,  6.52],
                 [ 1.57,  1.2 ,  3.02,  6.88],
                 [ 2.23,  4.86,  5.12,  2.81],
                 [ 4.48,  1.38,  2.14,  0.86],
                 [ 6.68,  1.72,  8.56,  3.23]])


def plotCollection(ax, xs, ys, *args, **kwargs):

  ax.plot(xs,ys, *args, **kwargs)

  if "label" in kwargs.keys():

    #remove duplicates
    handles, labels = pyplot.gca().get_legend_handles_labels()
    newLabels, newHandles = [], []
    for handle, label in zip(handles, labels):
      if label not in newLabels:
        newLabels.append(label)
        newHandles.append(handle)

    pyplot.legend(newHandles, newLabels)

ax = pyplot.subplot(1,1,1)  
plotCollection(ax, a[:,::2].T, a[:, 1::2].T, 'r', label='data_a')
plotCollection(ax, a[:,1::2].T, a[:, ::2].T, 'b', label='data_b')
pyplot.show()

An easier (and IMO clearer) way to remove duplicates (than what you have) from the handles and labels of the legend is this:

handles, labels = pyplot.gca().get_legend_handles_labels()
newLabels, newHandles = [], []
for handle, label in zip(handles, labels):
  if label not in newLabels:
    newLabels.append(label)
    newHandles.append(handle)
pyplot.legend(newHandles, newLabels)
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