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pytest plugin to help with testing figures output from Matplotlib

Project description

**Linux**: |Travis Build Status| -- **MacOS X**: |Travis Build Status|
-- **Windows**: |AppVeyor Build status|


This is a plugin to faciliate image comparison for
`Matplotlib <>`__ figures in pytest.

Matplotlib includes a number of test utilities and decorators, but these
are geared towards the `nose <>`__ testing
framework. Pytest-mpl makes it easy to compare figures produced by tests
to reference images when using `pytest <>`__.

For each figure to test, the reference image is substracted from the
generated image, and the RMS of the residual is compared to a
user-specified tolerance. If the residual is too large, the test will
fail (this is implemented using helper functions from

For more information on how to write tests to do this, see the **Using**
section below.


This plugin is compatible with Python 2.6, 2.7, and 3.3 and later, and
requires `pytest <>`__,
`matplotlib <>`__ and
`nose <>`__ to be installed (nose is
required by Matplotlib).

To install, you can do:


pip install pytest-mpl

You can check that the plugin is registered with pytest by doing:


py.test --version

which will show a list of plugins:


This is pytest version 2.7.1, imported from ...
setuptools registered plugins:
pytest-mpl-0.1 at ...


To use, you simply need to mark the function where you want to compare
images using ``@pytest.mark.mpl_image_compare``, and make sure that the
function returns a Matplotlib figure (or any figure object that has a
``savefig`` method):

.. code:: python

import pytest
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

def test_succeeds():
fig = plt.figure()
ax = fig.add_subplot(1,1,1)
return fig

To generate the baseline images, run the tests with the
``--mpl-generate-path`` option with the name of the directory where the
generated images should be placed:


py.test --mpl-generate-path=baseline

If the directory does not exist, it will be created. The directory will
be interpreted as being relative to where you are running ``py.test``.
Once you are happy with the generated images, you should move them to a
sub-directory called ``baseline`` relative to the test files (this name
is configurable, see below). You can also generate the baseline images
directly in the right directory.

You can then run the tests simply with:


py.test --mpl

and the tests will pass if the images are the same. If you omit the
``--mpl`` option, the tests will run but will only check that the code
runs without checking the output images.


Tolerance :sup:`^\ :sup:`^``\ ^

The RMS tolerance for the image comparison (which defaults to 2) can be
specified in the ``mpl_image_compare`` decorator with the ``tolerance``

.. code:: python

def test_image():

Savefig options :sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`^```````

You can pass keyword arguments to ``savefig`` by using
``savefig_kwargs`` in the ``mpl_image_compare`` decorator:

.. code:: python

def test_image():

Baseline images :sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`^```````

The baseline directory (which defaults to ``baseline`` ) and the
filename of the plot (which defaults to the name of the test with a
``.png`` suffix) can be customized with the ``baseline_dir`` and
``filename`` arguments in the ``mpl_image_compare`` decorator:

.. code:: python

def test_image():

The baseline directory in the decorator above will be interpreted as
being relative to the test file. Note that the baseline directory can
also be a URL (which should start with ``http://`` or ``https://`` and
end in a slash).

Finally, you can also set a custom baseline directory globally when
running tests by running ``py.test`` with:


py.test --mpl --mpl-baseline-path=baseline_images

This directory will be interpreted as being relative to where the tests
are run. In addition, if both this option and the ``baseline_dir``
option in the ``mpl_image_compare`` decorator are used, the one in the
decorator takes precedence.

Base style :sup:`:sup:`^`\ ^`\ ^^

By default, tests will be run using the Matplotlib 'classic' style
(ignoring any locally defined RC parameters). This can be overriden by
using the ``style`` argument:

.. code:: python

def test_image():

Removing text :sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`:sup:`^`````\ ^^

If you are running a test for which you are not interested in comparing
the text labels, you can use the ``remove_text`` argument to the

.. code:: python

def test_image():

This will make the test insensitive to changes in e.g. the freetype

Test failure example

If the images produced by the tests are correct, then the test will
pass, but if they are not, the test will fail with a message similar to
the following:


E Exception: Error: Image files did not match.
E RMS Value: 142.2287807767823
E Expected:
E /var/folders/zy/t1l3sx310d3d6p0kyxqzlrnr0000gr/T/tmp4h4oxr7y/baseline-coords_overlay_auto_coord_meta.png
E Actual:
E /var/folders/zy/t1l3sx310d3d6p0kyxqzlrnr0000gr/T/tmp4h4oxr7y/coords_overlay_auto_coord_meta.png
E Difference:
E /var/folders/zy/t1l3sx310d3d6p0kyxqzlrnr0000gr/T/tmp4h4oxr7y/coords_overlay_auto_coord_meta-failed-diff.png
E Tolerance:
E 10

The image paths included in the exception are then available for

| Expected | Actual | Difference |
| |expected| | |actual| | |diff| |

In this case, the differences are very clear, while in some cases it may
be necessary to use the difference image, or blink the expected and
actual images, in order to see what changed.

The default tolerance is 2, which is very strict. In some cases, you may
want to relax this to account for differences in fonts across different

Running the tests for pytest-mpl

If you are contributing some changes and want to run the tests, first
install the latest version of the plugin then do:


cd tests
py.test --mpl

The reason for having to install the plugin first is to ensure that the
plugin is correctly loaded as part of the test suite.

.. |Travis Build Status| image::
.. |Travis Build Status| image::
.. |AppVeyor Build status| image::
.. |expected| image:: images/baseline-coords_overlay_auto_coord_meta.png
.. |actual| image:: images/coords_overlay_auto_coord_meta.png
.. |diff| image:: images/coords_overlay_auto_coord_meta-failed-diff.png

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