Named colors in matplotlib

The Solution to Named colors in matplotlib is

I constantly forget the names of the colors I want to use and keep coming back to this question =)

The previous answers are great, but I find it a bit difficult to get an overview of the available colors from the posted image. I prefer the colors to be grouped with similar colors, so I slightly tweaked the matplotlib answer that was mentioned in a comment above to get a color list sorted in columns. The order is not identical to how I would sort by eye, but I think it gives a good overview.

I updated the image and code to reflect that 'rebeccapurple' has been added and the three sage colors have been moved under the 'xkcd:' prefix since I posted this answer originally.

enter image description here

I really didn't change much from the matplotlib example, but here is the code for completeness.

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from matplotlib import colors as mcolors

colors = dict(mcolors.BASE_COLORS, **mcolors.CSS4_COLORS)

# Sort colors by hue, saturation, value and name.
by_hsv = sorted((tuple(mcolors.rgb_to_hsv(mcolors.to_rgba(color)[:3])), name)
                for name, color in colors.items())
sorted_names = [name for hsv, name in by_hsv]

n = len(sorted_names)
ncols = 4
nrows = n // ncols

fig, ax = plt.subplots(figsize=(12, 10))

# Get height and width
X, Y = fig.get_dpi() * fig.get_size_inches()
h = Y / (nrows + 1)
w = X / ncols

for i, name in enumerate(sorted_names):
    row = i % nrows
    col = i // nrows
    y = Y - (row * h) - h

    xi_line = w * (col + 0.05)
    xf_line = w * (col + 0.25)
    xi_text = w * (col + 0.3)

    ax.text(xi_text, y, name, fontsize=(h * 0.8),

    ax.hlines(y + h * 0.1, xi_line, xf_line,
              color=colors[name], linewidth=(h * 0.8))

ax.set_xlim(0, X)
ax.set_ylim(0, Y)

fig.subplots_adjust(left=0, right=1,
                    top=1, bottom=0,
                    hspace=0, wspace=0)

Additional named colors

Updated 2017-10-25. I merged my previous updates into this section.


If you would like to use additional named colors when plotting with matplotlib, you can use the xkcd crowdsourced color names, via the 'xkcd:' prefix:

plt.plot([1,2], lw=4, c='xkcd:baby poop green')

Now you have access to a plethora of named colors!

enter image description here


The default Tableau colors are available in matplotlib via the 'tab:' prefix:

plt.plot([1,2], lw=4, c='tab:green')

There are ten distinct colors:

enter image description here


You can also plot colors by their HTML hex code:

plt.plot([1,2], lw=4, c='#8f9805')

This is more similar to specifying and RGB tuple rather than a named color (apart from the fact that the hex code is passed as a string), and I will not include an image of the 16 million colors you can choose from...

For more details, please refer to the matplotlib colors documentation and the source file specifying the available colors,

~ Answered on 2016-05-14 23:02:05

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