plot legends

a.legend(('aLabel'), 'upper center')

    > a.set_xlim(xRangeList) a.set_ylim(yRangeList)

    > # End of: for yList in yLists:
    > self.toolbar.update()

    > The aLabel gets printed like: a L a b e l

That's because ('a label') is a string and not a tuple. I should test
for this and raise, since it gets me too sometimes. The legend code is
iterating over the string effectively making each character a
separate legend entry. You need ('a label',); note the comma makes it
a length 1 tuple of strings.

    > I would really like to specify that the legend appear off of
    > the plot...say to the left of the y axis tick marks...any
    > hints here?

fig.legend works just like ax.legend, where fig is a Figure instance.
(figlegend in the matlab interface). The placement commands are the
same, eg 'upper right', but this is in the upper right of the figure
rather than the axes. You can add as many legends as you want this
way. You have to pass it the lines or rectangles (also as a tuple)
that you want to make the legend for, because unlike axes legends, it
can't use introspection to guess which lines you want to make a legend
for - well, it could but it doesn't.

Note if you want to resize the axes so that is doesn't overlap the
legend you create, you may want to use Axes rather than subplot, in
which you can supply an explicit left, bottom, width, height tuple for
the axes dimensions, as in