5 Best Ways to Maximize a plt Show Window Using Python

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πŸ’‘ Problem Formulation: When visualizing data using Python’s Matplotlib library, the output window often appears in a default size, which may not be ideal for detailed data analysis or presentations. Users may want to maximize the plt (plot) show window to make the graphs larger and easier to analyze. For instance, while plotting a line chart, the user desires the output window to fill the entire screen automatically.

Method 1: Use Figure Manager

The Figure Manager within Matplotlib provides a method called resize() that can be used to set the window size to the screen’s resolution. By obtaining screen width and height through the window manager, we can programmatically expand the window to the maximum dimensions.

Here’s an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Example data for plotting
plt.plot([1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6])

# Maximize the plt window
manager = plt.get_current_fig_manager()
manager.resize(*manager.window.maxsize())

plt.show()

The output is a maximized window displaying the line chart plotted.

This code snippet demonstrates using the Figure Manager’s resize() method to maximize the plt window. This is an effective method for users who are running their code in environments that support window managers, such as Tkinter-based systems.

Method 2: Use Full-screen Toggle

Another approach to maximize the plt window is by using full-screen toggle events provided by the Matplotlib’s backends. The method full_screen_toggle() switches the display to full-screen mode when the plot window has focus.

Here’s an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Example data for plotting
plt.plot([1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6])

# Show the plot in full screen
plt.get_current_fig_manager().full_screen_toggle()

plt.show()

The output is a plot displayed in full-screen mode.

By calling full_screen_toggle(), the plot window is switched to full-screen. This method is quite straightforward and is effective when you need a one-time switch to full-screen without resizing manually.

Method 3: Adjust Figure Size Before Showing

In this method, you change the figure size to a large enough size that it effectively maximizes the window on most screens by using the figure() function’s figsize parameter.

Here’s an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Set a large figure size that fills the screen
plt.figure(figsize=(20, 10))

# Example data for plotting
plt.plot([1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6])

plt.show()

The output is an enlarged window, potentially filling the screen based on the resolution.

The figsize parameter takes a tuple of width and height in inches; by setting large dimensions, the window size increases. The displayed output greatly depends on the resolution of the screen and DPI settings.

Method 4: Maximize Window Using OS-specific Commands

For certain operating systems, executing OS-specific commands to manipulate the window size is possible. For instance, on Windows systems, you can use the Win32 API to maximize the window.

Here’s an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from matplotlib.backends.backend_tkagg import FigureCanvasTkAgg
import tkinter as Tk

# Example data for plotting
fig = plt.figure()
plt.plot([1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6])

# Create a Tkinter canvas
root = Tk.Tk()
canvas = FigureCanvasTkAgg(fig, master=root)
canvas.draw()
canvas.get_tk_widget().pack(fill=Tk.BOTH, expand=1)

# Use the Windows API to maximize the window
root.state('zoomed')

root.mainloop()

The output is a maximized window on Windows, displaying the plotted line chart.

This snippet utilizes the Tkinter library to embed the Matplotlib figure into a Tkinter canvas, after which the window state is set to ‘zoomed’, a command that Windows understands to maximize the window. This method is highly specific to the user’s operating system.

Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Use Window Geometry

For a quick and simple solution, setting the window geometry to a significantly large size can serve as a pseudo-maximize on screens with high resolution. Though not a true maximize, it’s a convenient one-liner.

Here’s an example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Create a figure with an explicitly large size
plt.figure(figsize=(16, 8)).gca()

# Example data for plotting
plt.plot([1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6])

plt.show()

The output is a very large window that may fill your entire screen.

Setting the figure size to large dimensions using the plt.figure(figsize=(width, height)) call can force the window to open significantly large. This method does not guarantee maximal screen usage on all devices but offers a simple and quick solution.

Summary/Discussion

  • Method 1: Use Figure Manager. This method is flexible and works in many environments. However, some non-Tkinter backends may not support this approach.
  • Method 2: Use Full-screen Toggle. It’s great for a quick full-screen view but is not a true maximization. It also depends on backend support and may be limited to interactive use.
  • Method 3: Adjust Figure Size Before Showing. Offers predictability in size and simplicity in use. However, the result may not be a true maximization and might vary across different screen resolutions and DPI settings.
  • Method 4: Maximize Window Using OS-specific Commands. Offers true maximization on supported OSes but lacks portability and requires additional system-specific knowledge.
  • Method 5: Use Window Geometry. It’s the simplest approach but doesn’t ensure consistent results across varying screen sizes and resolutions.