Easily create plots with nice colorbars in Mathematica
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ColorbarPlot v0.6 (2010 July 10)

ColorbarPlot is a function to plot a ContourPlot, DensityPlot or 3D plot with an attached colorbar to indicate the ranges of the function that is being plotted. The syntax is not exactly the same as for the built-in functions.

Warning! v0.4 and above is not backwards compatibile with versions 0.3 and below. Sorry.

The following functions are supported by ColorbarPlot:

  • (List)ContourPlot
  • List)DensityPlot
  • (List)Plot3D
  • ListPointPlot3D

An example file, ColorbarPlot-documentation.nb, is distributed with this package to demonstrate its use.

This package should work for Mathematica versions six and above.


The official release version of ColorbarPlot is located in the Wolfram Library Archive:

Development and historical versions are available from GitHub:

Please send comments and suggestions to us all at

  • wspr 81 at gmail dot com
  • michael dot p dot croucher at googlemail dot com
  • t.zell at gmx dot de

Copyright 2007–2010
Will Robertson (University of Adelaide)
Mike Croucher (University of Manchester)
Thomas Zell (University of Cologne)


  • Horizontal colourbar above or below the plot.
  • Hybrid contour/density plot.
  • More plot types? (Please suggest!)


  • v0.6 (TZ)
    More robust data and options handling. Extended the PlotRange option to be almost as powerful as the one of the built-in plot functions (there is still no difference between 'Full' and 'Automatic' for the z-range).

  • v0.5 (MC)
    Added options for CTicksStyle and CLabelStyle to allow easy modification of the font styles in the colorbar ticks and label.

  • v0.4 (WR)
    PlotRange option is now supported for manually chosing the min/max scale of the colorbar. List-based plots are supported. CPadding option for adjusting the size of the colorbar. Colors option replaced with ColorFunction option.

  • v0.3 (MC)
    Added support for Plot3D; tidied up the code a little.

  • v0.2 (WR)
    Inset used as a wrapper around the Row to add the colorbar to the plot so that the final output is a proper Graphics object. This allows MathPSfrag usage, for example.


This package consists of the files ColorbarPlot.m and ColorbarPlot-example.nb. It may be freely distributed and modified under the terms & conditions of the Apache License, v2.0: http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0