Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mathematica Plot: Options Overview

Plot Has over 80 Options to Control its Behavior

Here is a Plot of two curves where we use Plot options to add a Frame, tick marks to the left and right y-axes, but to the bottom x-axis only, and to Plot the full -y-range instead of leaving out extreme values.

Plot[Tooltip@{Sin@x, x Sin@x}, {x, 0, 20}, Frame -> True,
 FrameTicks -> {{Automatic, All}, {Automatic, None}}, PlotRange -> Full]

You can ask Mathematica for all the available Options for a function with Options@function. When you do, Mathematica tells you their default values as well.

Options@Plot // Partition[#, 3,3,1,{}] & // TableForm

The Partition syntax may look a little complicated, but is explained in Capturing the Remnant of a Partitioned List. It says: "Partition the list into sublists of length 3, take them in blocks of 3 (i.e. do not overlap them), start the first element of the first list at position 1 of the first sublist (at the beginning), and do not pad the last uneven list (i.e. pad it with the empty set)." While Plot has 57 Options, which divide evenly by 3, the partition syntax will work if Plot has a non-divisible-by-3 number of Options in the future.

I thank a diligent reader, Murta, for suggesting this correction to my original post.


  1. Nice post. But, instead of just Partition[#,3]& it's better to use Partition[#,3,3,1,{}]& so you don't loose any parameter.

  2. Hi Murta,

    Thanks again for your diligence. I corrected the post with credit to you. Best,