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I want to use the the following two functions to plot a perfect looking circle, but the graph always ends up looking a bit squashed. I've been playing with some of the parameters of the function but can't seem to get it to look right still.

Here is the function:

Plot[{Sqrt[1 - x^2], -Sqrt[1 - x^2]}, {x, -2, 2}, PlotRange -> {-2, 2}]

Thanks for the help!

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marked as duplicate by Jens, m_goldberg, Mr.Wizard Jul 23 '14 at 18:49

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I can't find a question which I think this one duplicates, but this question is addressed in the docs under Plot > Examples > Options > AspectRatio. So suggest closing as "easily found in the documentation". – m_goldberg Jul 23 '14 at 17:51
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Change PlotRange to {-1, 1} and set AspectRatio to 1.

Plot[{Sqrt[1 - x^2], -Sqrt[1 - x^2]}, {x, -2, 2}, 
 PlotRange -> {-1, 1}, AspectRatio -> 1]


enter image description here

PS: That's one of the way, to get the desired output.

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Just add AspectRatio -> Automatic (the default value is 1/GoldenRatio):

Plot[{Sqrt[1 - x^2], -Sqrt[1 - x^2]}, {x, -2, 2}, 
 PlotRange -> {-2, 2}, AspectRatio -> Automatic]

enter image description here

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That is interesting! Why do you think it is set up like that with the default being 1/GoldenRatio? Does it benefit some other type of graphics like that? – Tim H UK Jul 23 '14 at 16:42
Here's why (Ref) – seismatica Jul 23 '14 at 17:01
@TimHUK: I think the idea is that the axes in Plot often show different quantities (e.g. meters versus seconds), where PlotRange->Automatic would make no sense, and often give extremely stretched results. So WRI chose a fixed ratio that's supposed to be pretty. (But that's really just guessing.) – nikie Jul 23 '14 at 17:06

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