native format for figures #323

ddale opened this Issue Jun 20, 2011 · 4 comments


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ddale commented Jun 20, 2011

Original report at SourceForge, opened Wed Feb 4 17:55:56 2009

In Matlab we have ability to save figures to .fig format. Gnuplot also has same ability cause save figures as scripts and data. It allows us:

  1. To reopen figure for light editing without program execution.
  2. To retrieve points data for curves for editing.
  3. To copy curves from one figure to another. It is really great!!!


SourceForge Comments

On Fri Apr 23 05:23:50 2010, nobody wrote:

Seconding! The ability to easily pickle or otherwise save & reload both data and figure configuration is lacking terribly. Lots of figures have to be altered later on for publication, presentation etc. Currently the full python code for loading the data and creating the figure has to be kept -- /very/ old-fashioned, I'd say.

On Sun Jun 7 09:37:49 2009, jdh2358 wrote:

This would indeed be a great feature. We have experimented with it in the past trying to pickle matplotlib figures, but have encountered problems with pickling CXX extension code, on which mpl relies heavily.

@ghost ghost assigned pelson Jul 1, 2012


tkf commented Jul 5, 2012

I would like to have this feature too! How about using this technique to make classes defined in C picklable?


pelson commented Jul 5, 2012

I've done some initial work into the feasibility of pickling figures - and its looking promising. I expect to make a PR for it in the next week or so.


tkf commented Jul 5, 2012



pelson commented Sep 2, 2012

matplotlib now has experimental pickling support which will be available from 1.2. Realistically this is the furthest that I can envisage us going in terms of providing our own "native format for figures": The overhead of managing and maintaining such a feature would swamp any other work we do.

@pelson pelson closed this Sep 2, 2012

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