Please consider this simple code:

 Plot[{a Sin[x], a Cos[x]}, {x, 0, 2 Pi}, 
  PlotLegends -> "Expressions"], {a, 1, 2}]

Mathematica returns this output:

enter image description here

I believe this is a bug. Is there any workaround to cope with this problem?

I use Mathematica version 10.3.1 on Win 10 64bit. Thank you.


2 Answers 2


The FrontEnd has the habit of renaming variables, which is usually a good thing, but sometimes can be troublesome. One possibility is to evaluate the argument of Plot, e.g.:

       Plot @@ {{a Sin[x], a Cos[x]}, 
                {x, 0, 2 Pi},
                 PlotLegends -> "Expressions", 
                 PlotRange -> {-2, 2}}, {4, 3}
    {a, 1., 2, Appearance -> "Labeled"}]

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ The usage of Appearance is first time to me.I'm interested that how do you know it?? $\endgroup$
    – yode
    Jan 20, 2016 at 19:22

Legends are heavily affecting the performance in Dynamic so I'd probably go with some hand made legends anyway:

    Dynamic @ Plot[{a Sin[x], a Cos[x]}, {x, 0, 2 Pi}]
     {RGBColor[0.368417, 0.506779, 0.709798], RGBColor[0.880722, 0.611041, 0.142051]},
     TraditionalForm /@ {Dynamic[a Defer@Sin[x]], Dynamic[a Defer@Cos[x]]}
    }}], {a, 1, 2}]

enter image description here

Colors for lines taken from Match colors to plot themes

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Why not simply Manipulate[ Plot[{a Sin[x], a Cos[x]}, {x, 0, 2 Pi}, PlotLegends -> {Dynamic[a Sin[x]], Dynamic[a Cos[x]]}], {a, 1, 2}]. I got same result. $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2016 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Algohi I don't know how fast your machine is but on mine there is a noticable difference. The face that the Plot has to use PlotLegends slows it down a lot. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Jan 21, 2016 at 7:19

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