Posted By: Anonymous
Matplotlib offers these functions:
cla() # Clear axis clf() # Clear figure close() # Close a figure window
The documentation doesn’t offer a lot of insight into what the difference between these functions is. When should I use each function and what exactly does it do?
They all do different things, since matplotlib uses a hierarchical order in which a figure window contains a figure which may consist of many axes. Additionally, there are functions from the pyplot interface and there are methods on the
Figure class. I will discuss both cases below.
pyplot is a module that collects a couple of functions that allow matplotlib to be used in a functional manner. I here assume that
pyplot has been imported as
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt.
In this case, there are three different commands that remove stuff:
plt.cla() clears an axes, i.e. the currently active axes in the current figure. It leaves the other axes untouched.
plt.clf() clears the entire current figure with all its axes, but leaves the window opened, such that it may be reused for other plots.
plt.close() closes a window, which will be the current window, if not specified otherwise.
Which functions suits you best depends thus on your use-case.
close() function furthermore allows one to specify which window should be closed. The argument can either be a number or name given to a window when it was created using
figure(number_or_name) or it can be a figure instance
fig obtained, i.e., using
fig = figure(). If no argument is given to
close(), the currently active window will be closed. Furthermore, there is the syntax
close('all'), which closes all figures.
methods of the Figure class
Figure class provides methods for clearing figures.
I’ll assume in the following that
fig is an instance of a
fig.clf() clears the entire figure. This call is equivalent to
plt.clf() only if
fig is the current figure.
fig.clear() is a synonym for
Note that even
del fig will not close the associated figure window. As far as I know the only way to close a figure window is using
plt.close(fig) as described above.