How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

When working with Matplotlib, there are times when you may want to clear the current plot to start fresh or to remove any existing elements. In this article, we will explore various methods to clear a plot in Matplotlib.

Using clf() method

The clf() method can be used to clear the current figure and start a new plot. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
plt.show()

plt.clf()

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Using close() method

The close() method can be used to close the current figure window and clear the plot. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
plt.show()

plt.close()

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Using cla() method

The cla() method can be used to clear the current axes of the plot without clearing the entire figure. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
plt.show()

plt.cla()

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Using clf() and cla() methods together

You can also use the clf() and cla() methods together to clear both the figure and the axes. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
plt.show()

plt.clf()
plt.cla()

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Using clear() method

The clear() method can be used to clear the current figure and axes at the same time. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
plt.show()

plt.gcf().clear()

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Using set_visible() method for artists

You can also hide or clear specific artists from the plot using the set_visible() method. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

line, = plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
plt.show()

line.set_visible(False)

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Clearing specific elements

If you want to clear specific elements from the plot, you can set their visibility to False. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

fig, ax = plt.subplots()
scatter = ax.scatter([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
plt.show()

scatter.set_visible(False)

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Clearing lines and text elements

You can clear lines and text elements from the plot by setting their visibility to False. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

line, = plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
text = plt.text(2, 10, 'how2matplotlib')
plt.show()

line.set_visible(False)
text.set_visible(False)

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Using del method

You can also clear elements from the plot by deleting them using the del method. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

line, = plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
text = plt.text(2, 10, 'how2matplotlib')
plt.show()

del line
del text

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Clearing all elements

To clear all elements from the plot, you can iterate through all the artists and set their visibility to False. Here is an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

line, = plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4], [1, 4, 9, 16])
text = plt.text(2, 10, 'how2matplotlib')
plt.show()

for artist in plt.gca().get_children():
    artist.set_visible(False)

Output:

How to Clear Plot in Matplotlib

Conclusion

In this article, we have explored various methods to clear a plot in Matplotlib. Whether you want to clear the entire plot, specific elements, or hide certain artists, Matplotlib provides a variety of options to help you achieve the desired results. Experiment with these methods in your own projects to see how you can effectively manage and clear plots in Matplotlib.

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