 # Drawing a circle around a letter

Hello everybody !!!

When adding some text to a plot, is there a way to know the actual
size of the letters as they appear, in such a way that I could, for
instance, draw a circle around a 'A', so that the A perfectly fits
inside ("the smallest circle containing the letter"), regardless of
the actual size of the picture I'm drawing ?

Pray excuse me if my question has an obvious answer... I am working on
Sage's library (http://www.sagemath.org/) which uses Matplotlib...
This code is not very clear to me, not to mention it is my first
contact with Matplotlib... Thank you for your extreme patience Nathann

Nathann Cohen, on 2010-12-26 22:27, wrote:

Hello everybody !!!

When adding some text to a plot, is there a way to know the actual
size of the letters as they appear, in such a way that I could, for
instance, draw a circle around a 'A', so that the A perfectly fits
inside ("the smallest circle containing the letter"), regardless of
the actual size of the picture I'm drawing ?

Hi Nathann,

Here's a quick and dirty way of getting what you want:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
ax = plt.subplot(111)
t = plt.text(0.5,0.5,'A', ha='center', va='center')
plt.draw()
b = t.get_window_extent() # bounding box in pixel coordinates
r = np.sqrt((b.bounds[-2]/2)**2 + (b.bounds[-1]/2)**2)
plt.scatter(0.5,0.5, s=np.pi*r**2, marker='o', edgecolor='k', facecolor='w', lw=1,zorder=-1)

I don't think there's a super simple way of doing this by hand -
because text keeps its size constant regardless of how you
manipulate the axes. Here's an example that does what you want,
if you only need the circle in one particular view (i.e. if you
won't be rescaling/zooming in or out the axes:

ax = plt.subplot(111)
plt.plot([0,1,1],[0,0,1]) # keep the axes from resizing when we draw our circle
t = plt.text(0.5,0.5,'A')
plt.axis('equal')
plt.draw()
b = t.get_window_extent() # bounding box in pixel coordinates
bbox = b.inverse_transformed(ax.transData)
xc,yc = bbox.get_points().mean(0)
r = np.sqrt((bbox.bounds[-2]/2)**2 + (bbox.bounds[-1]/2)**2)
theta = np.linspace(0,2*np.pi,200)
x,y = r*(np.cos(theta)), r*np.sin(theta)
l = plt.plot(x+xc, y+yc)

This does exactly what you want, but now, anytime you resize the
axes, the A will stay the same size, but that circle will get
resized.

ax = plt.subplot(111)
plt.plot([0,1,1],[0,0,1]) # keep the axes from resizing when we draw our circle
t = plt.text(0.5,0.5,'A')
plt.axis('equal')
plt.draw()
b = t.get_window_extent() # bounding box in pixel coordinates
bbox = b.inverse_transformed(ax.transAxes)
xc,yc = bbox.get_points().mean(0)
r = np.sqrt((bbox.bounds[-2]/2)**2 + (bbox.bounds[-1]/2)**2)
theta = np.linspace(0,2*np.pi,200)
x,y = r*(np.cos(theta)), r*np.sin(theta)
l = plt.plot(x+xc, y+yc, transform=ax.transAxes)

The above will keep the circle from resizing when you move - but
now it prevents the circle from following 'A' as you pan around.

I see that matplotlib.collections (which is what plt.scatter
creates in the quick-and-dirty example) uses offset and
transOffset to get the job done, but I couldn't figure out a way
to get my last two examples to do something similar by just
manipulating the transforms.

Hopefully someone chimes in with a better solution. For more on
transformations see:
http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/users/transforms_tutorial.html

And you can wrap my hand-rolled solution nicely using something
like:
http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/examples/api/line_with_text.html

best,

···

--
Paul Ivanov
314 address only used for lists, off-list direct email at:
http://pirsquared.org | GPG/PGP key id: 0x0F3E28F7

With bbox parameter, you can draw a box (or a path) around a text.

http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/users/annotations_guide.html#annotating-with-text-with-box

There a several box styles, but unfortunately no circle. However, you
can create a custom box style.

http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/users/annotations_guide.html#define-custom-boxstyle

Attached is an modified example in the above link that draws a circle.

IHTH,

-JJ

boxstyle_circle.py (1.1 KB)

···

On Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 6:27 AM, Nathann Cohen <nathann.cohen@...287...> wrote:

Hello everybody !!!

When adding some text to a plot, is there a way to know the actual
size of the letters as they appear, in such a way that I could, for
instance, draw a circle around a 'A', so that the A perfectly fits
inside ("the smallest circle containing the letter"), regardless of
the actual size of the picture I'm drawing ?

Pray excuse me if my question has an obvious answer... I am working on
Sage's library (http://www.sagemath.org/) which uses Matplotlib...
This code is not very clear to me, not to mention it is my first
contact with Matplotlib... Thank you for your extreme patience Nathann

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