Python – Save plot to image file instead of displaying it using Matplotlib


I am writing a quick-and-dirty script to generate plots on the fly. I am using the code below (from Matplotlib documentation) as a starting point:

from pylab import figure, axes, pie, title, show

# Make a square figure and axes
figure(1, figsize=(6, 6))
ax = axes([0.1, 0.1, 0.8, 0.8])

labels = 'Frogs', 'Hogs', 'Dogs', 'Logs'
fracs = [15, 30, 45, 10]

explode = (0, 0.05, 0, 0)
pie(fracs, explode=explode, labels=labels, autopct='%1.1f%%', shadow=True)
title('Raining Hogs and Dogs', bbox={'facecolor': '0.8', 'pad': 5})

show()  # Actually, don't show, just save to foo.png

I don't want to display the plot on a GUI, instead, I want to save the plot to a file (say foo.png), so that, for example, it can be used in batch scripts. How do I do that?

Best Solution

While the question has been answered, I'd like to add some useful tips when using matplotlib.pyplot.savefig. The file format can be specified by the extension:

from matplotlib import pyplot as plt


Will give a rasterized or vectorized output respectively, both which could be useful. In addition, there's often an undesirable, whitespace around the image, which can be removed with:

plt.savefig('foo.png', bbox_inches='tight')

Note that if showing the plot, should follow plt.savefig(), otherwise the file image will be blank.