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Setting Curve Colors

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Changing Colors Interactively - Existing Plots

Setting the Colors in Advance

Changing the Default Colors

See Also


Learn how to control the color of curves in 2-D plots. By default, Maple selects the color of each new curve for you, but you have the ability to change the color, determine the color choice in advance, or even modify the default color sequence.  This document will also explain how to access the wide variety of colors choices.

Changing Colors Interactively - Existing Plots

If the plot is already in your document, use context menus to change its appearance. To change the color of a curve on a 2-D plot, first click on the curve you wish to change. The curve will be highlighted. See Figure 1. Once the curve is highlighted, select Color, and then choose the color from the list.


Figure 1 - Changing the color of the selected curve


Tip:  It is essential that the curve is selected. If your change appears to have no visible effect, it is most likely because the curve was not selected first. Select the curve (it will be highlighted, as shown above), and try again.


Setting the Colors in Advance

If you already know which colors you wish to use, you can set the colors in advance, before the plot is created. Doing so results in a plot that will always use the colors you asked for, even if the document is re-executed.

Using the Plot Builder

The plot builder can be used to set various properties of the plot before its creation. Right-click on your expression, then select Plots > Plot Builder.  Select 2-D plot.  Then click on the Options button to bring up the plot options dialog. From there, you can set the style, range, color, and other options. See Figure 2.

Figure 2: Setting colors with the Plot Builder Options dialog

Choose a color from the drop down list or click Custom to select a custom color using swatches, HSB, or RGB.


Figure 3: Setting a custom colors with the Plot Builder Options dialog


Tip: You can preview your plot from the Plot Builder window.  You can also choose to return the plot or the command used to create the plot.  This is helpful if you want to reuse or create variations of your plot.

Using the plot command


You can pass in a list of colors to the plot command. For a single curve,


plotsinx, x=0..π, color=Blue

If you have more then one curve, put the curves in a list, and the colors in a corresponding list:

plotx, x2, x3, x4, x=5..5, color=LimeGreen, Orange, DarkTurquoise,Chocolate 


The color=colorname option can be used with most plotting commands, in addition to the plot command itself.


Note: The color names are given as strings in double quotes ("Blue").  This is the new form for color names. In earlier releases, a more limited number of colors were available and were given as symbols, often were enclosed in quotes ('blue') to avoid evaluation. For backwards compatibility, this form will still work with the old color names, but new color names must be strings.


For the complete list of valid color names, including the mapping from the old names to the new names, see plot/colornames.


Tip: Maple also accepts the keyword "colour" as a valid alternative spelling.

Changing the Default Colors

Maple follows a standard list of colors, choosing the next color in the list for the next curve on that set of axes. The default color choices can be seen by calling the plots[setcolors] command with no arguments.




To change the default list, provide a new list of colors. The current color list is returned.

plotssetcolorsBlueViolet, Coral



Now plots will use the new color list.

plotsinx,sin2 x, x=π..π

Note: If you have more curves then colors in your list, those colors will be used again. Maple cycles through the list as often as required.

plotseqsinix,i=1..6, x=π..π

To reset the color list to the default colors, use:




See plots[setcolors] for more information.

See Also

plot, PlotBuilder, plot/colornames, plots[setcolors], seq

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