Solving "Plot Figure Margins Too Large" Error

Sometimes even the most experienced data scientists encounter a dreaded margin plotting error. That’s why we’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide on how to quickly fix margin errors and ensure your plot figures look great.

Getting Ready

Before you can begin fixing margin errors, you’ll need to ensure you have the right environment set up to do so. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Python installed
  • A plotting library such as Matplotlib
  • Access to the source code of your plot (if you're using an online platform such as or

Understanding the Margin Error

A margin error is a specific issue when plotting in Python or similar programming languages where extra whitespace or an additional line or two appear in the plot frame. The extra whitespace or lines are usually thrown by the plotting library and don't usually indicate an issue with your data set or code.

Diagnosing the Problem

It’s important to determine the source of the error before moving forward. A common source of margin errors are locations and formatting settings that are not set properly. If your plot is generated dynamically with settings loaded by another module, you may need to check the settings of the module.

You may also need to ensure the plot resource library is installed, updated, and set to the correct version.

Troubleshooting Tips

Once you’ve identified the source of the error, you can begin to troubleshoot it. Here are four troubleshooting tips to help you fix your problem:

Check all configuration settings: Double-check your plot configuration settings to ensure they are set correctly.

Update plot libraries: Ensure that your plot libraries are updated with the most recent versions.

Examine plot margins: Ensure all plot margins are set at the same size.

  1. Try different plot libraries: If nothing else works, try using a different plot library (e.g. Matplotlib, GGplot2, Seaborn) to verify if the margin errors go away.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when my plot has margin errors?

A plot with margin errors usually has extra whitespace or an additional line or two appearing in the plot frame. This problem will usually not be associated with a problem with your data set or code.

What can I do to fix margin errors?

The best way to fix margin errors is to diagnose the source of the problem. This usually involves double-checking your configuration settings, updating plot libraries, examining plot margins, and even trying a different plot library.

Can margin errors prevent me from plotting?

No, margin errors should not prevent you from plotting. Usually, margin errors can just be fixed with the troubleshooting tips above.

What happens if I continue to have margin errors after troubleshooting?

If you continue to have margin errors even after troubleshooting, you may need to reexamine your code or data set to identify potential issues. You may also need to consult an experienced data scientist who can better understand the source of the error and help come up with a solution.

Where can I find more resources to help me with margin errors?

Here are some additional resources to help you with margin errors:

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