How to set the matplotlib figure default size in ipython notebook?

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I use “$ipython notebook –pylab inline” to start the ipython notebook. The display matplotlib figure size is too big for me, and I have to adjust it manually. How to set the default size for the figure displayed in cell?

Worked liked a charm for me:

matplotlib.rcParams['figure.figsize'] = (20, 10)

I believe the following work in version 0.11 and above. To check the version:

$ ipython --version

It may be worth adding this information to your question.


You need to find the file Depending on your installation process this should be in somewhere like


where .config is in your home directory.

Once you have located this file find the following lines

# Subset of matplotlib rcParams that should be different for the inline backend.
# c.InlineBackend.rc = {'font.size': 10, 'figure.figsize': (6.0, 4.0), 'figure.facecolor': 'white', 'savefig.dpi': 72, 'figure.subplot.bottom': 0.125, 'figure.edgecolor': 'white'}

Uncomment this line c.InlineBack... and define your default figsize in the second dictionary entry.

Note that this could be done in a python script (and hence interactively in IPython) using

pylab.rcParams['figure.figsize'] = (10.0, 8.0)

Just for completeness, this also works

from IPython.core.pylabtools import figsize
figsize(14, 7)

It is a wrapper aroung the rcParams solution

If you don’t have this file, you can create one by following the readme and typing

ipython profile create

In iPython 3.0.0, the inline backend needs to be configured in You need to manually add the c.InlineBackend.rc… line (as mentioned in Greg‘s answer). This will affect both the inline backend in the Qt console and the notebook.

plt.rcParams['figure.figsize'] = (15, 5)

You can use “run commands” rc to change the default figure size:

plt.rc('figure', figsize=(w,h))

So, a working solution on macos is

echo "
c.InlineBackend.rc = {
         'font.size': 10,
         'figure.figsize': (25.0, 5.0),
         'figure.facecolor': 'white', 
         'savefig.dpi': 72,
         'figure.subplot.bottom': 0.125,
         'figure.edgecolor': 'white'
" >> "$(ipython locate profile)/"

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