I’m trying to change matplotlib’s default font to Helvetica Neue. On my Mac with EPD/Canopy everything worked fine some time ago.

Trying to do the same on ubuntu now and it’s not working.

This is what I did:

  1. Installed Helvetica Neue

    $ fc-match 'Helvetica Neue':Light
    HelveticaNeue-Light.otf: "Helvetica Neue" "??"
    
  2. Converted the odt/dfont into ttf:

    fondu -show HelveticaNeue.dfont
    
  3. changed matplotlibrc to

    $ cat ~/.config/matplotlib/matplotlibrc
    ...
    font.family: Helvetica Neue
    

    I also tried with:

    font.family: sans-serif
    font.sans-serif: Helvetica Neue
    
  4. I removed the font cache

    rm ~/.config/matplotlib/fontList.cache
    

But none of these steps are working for me.

    $ python -c 'from  matplotlib import pyplot as plt; plt.plot(1); plt.savefig("/tmp/test.png")'
    /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/matplotlib-1.3.0-py2.7-linux-x86_64.egg/matplotlib/font_manager.py:1236: 
    UserWarning: findfont: Font family ['Helvetica Neue'] not found. Falling back to Bitstream Vera Sans

(prop.get_family(), self.defaultFamily[fontext]))

Version is 1.3.0

    $ python -c 'import matplotlib; print  matplotlib.__version__'
    1.3.0

I also tried moving the fonts to ~/.config/matplotlib/fonts/ttf but it didn’t work.


EDIT:
As suggested I tried selecting a specific font for a specific text.

import matplotlib as mpl
mpl.use('Agg')
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import matplotlib.font_manager as font_manager

path="/home/<myusername>/.fonts/HelveticaNeue.ttf"

prop = font_manager.FontProperties(fname=path)
prop.set_weight="light"
mpl.rcParams['font.family'] = prop.get_name()
mpl.rcParams['font.weight'] = 'light'

fig, ax = plt.subplots()
ax.set_title('Text in a cool font', fontproperties=prop, size=40)
plt.savefig('/tmp/test2.png')

But it makes no difference.

/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/matplotlib-1.3.0-py2.7-linux-x86_64.egg/matplotlib/font_manager.py:1236: 
UserWarning: findfont: Font family ['Helvetica Neue'] not found. Falling back to Bitstream Vera Sans

However I seem to experience this problem only with this Helvetica/Helvetica Neue font.
(prop.get_family(), self.defaultFamily[fontext]))

This will not change your font permanently, but it’s worth a try.

matplotlib.rc('font', family='sans-serif') 
matplotlib.rc('font', serif="Helvetica Neue") 
matplotlib.rc('text', usetex='false') 
matplotlib.rcParams.update({'font.size': 22})

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Upload the fonts

sudo cp NotoSansKR-Regular.otf /usr/share/fonts/

Update the cache of font

sudo fc-cache -fv

You can check the font list

fc-list

Restart ipython, etc.
Check the font list

[f.name for f in matplotlib.font_manager.fontManager.ttflist]

Take a your font name

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from matplotlib import rcParams
rcParams['font.family'] = 'Noto Sans Korean'

Draw

plt.title(u'?? ??')
plt.xlabel(u'?? ? ??')
plt.plot(range(5))

Kim already introduced dynamic solution works perfectly, and here’s two other ways doing the same in static.

First, you may put a line to rc file for matplotlib . Refer to this page for more information about locating the file and detailed settings.

font.family : NanumGothic

Second, if you are working with ipython, you can put some commands for font setting to a configuration file for the interactive shell. Find the file named ipython_config.py which usually located under ~/.ipython/somewhere. Then add two more lines to the list, c.InteractiveShellApp.exec_lines .

c.InteractiveShellApp.exec_lines = [
    "import matplotlib as mpl",
    "mpl.rcParams['font.family'] = 'NanumGothic'"
]

Former always works whatever environment you run your shell script on as it loads the font when your script imports matplotlib .

The font cache shows up in a different place for me (.cache/matplotlib/fontList.cache). And before I actually had three of them in different places somehow :/

maybe try searching for it in your home directory:

find ~/ -name fontList.cache -exec rm {} \;