I would like graphs to appear somewhat larger in my notebooks (running v8.0.4 on OSX 10.8.2).

Naturally I can specify ImageSize in each individual plot, or drag each plot to the size I want. But how can I just make it happen all the time? This legacy documentation indicates ImageSize typically defaults to 288px but shows no way to change that default. Checking the frontend preferences also comes up empty.

How can I get bigger plots by default?


1 Answer 1


----------------------- Variant 1

Increase magnification of the whole notebook by changing % number in the notebook bottom right corner (alternatively hold CTRL key and rotate mouse wheel).

  • Pros: simple
  • Cons: magnifies everything

----------------------- Variant 2

If you know which functions you need it for (let's say Plot), at the beginning of your work execute:

SetOptions[Plot, ImageSize -> {800, 700}]

{800, 700} means your own custom size.

  • Pros: simple
  • Cons: have to type it for all graphics functions you need

----------------------- Variant 3

Go to Top Menu >> Format >> Option Inspector... In the opened window find:

enter image description here

Change the values for circled options by clicking twice (not double clicking) on Automatic and typing something like {500,650} for example.

  • $\begingroup$ The second option is pretty much what I want, though I imagine I'll have to set it up in some special config file or initialization notebook to be globally loaded. The third option is on a per-notebook basis, which I found somewhat tedious when playing with it just now. $\endgroup$
    – Brian B
    Nov 27, 2012 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ @BrianB No, you can select "Global Preferences" in 3rd option where "Untitled-2" currently is. $\endgroup$ Nov 27, 2012 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ The interface is (very slightly) different in OSX, but the popup menu labeled (in faint gray) "Scope" let me choose Global Preferences which worked beautifully. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Brian B
    Nov 27, 2012 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ The whole Option Inspector is a revelation to me. I would not have thought to check the Format menu for this stuff though it is sensible in retrospect. $\endgroup$
    – Brian B
    Nov 27, 2012 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ For the third option (i.e. changing it for all graphics functions globally), what setting does this change exactly and where is it stored. Does it change it for the notebook for for your local settings. Can we do it programmatically (and restrict it to the running notebook if necessary)? $\endgroup$
    – Kvothe
    Aug 13, 2020 at 17:41

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