I have a contour plot. I want to make some changes in the contour labels. I want them to place along each contour in white color. Here is my code

f[x_, y_] := x + y^-1;
p = ContourPlot[
f[x, y], {x, -5, 5}, {y, -5, 5},
Contours -> 10,
ContourLabels -> True,
LabelStyle -> {Directive[Bold, Medium], White, 
RotateLabel -> True},
ImageSize -> Large

The output of this code is

enter image description here

but I want something like this

enter image description here

How can I figure it out? Many thanks.


1 Answer 1


You can use a pure function with a Text object as the ContourLabels option setting. The fourth argument of Text specifies the direction, which can be computed with:

f[x_, y_] := x + y^-1
t[x_, y_] = Grad[f[x, y], {x, y}] . {{0, -1}, {1, 0}};


    f[x, y],
    ContourLabels->Function[{x,y,z},Text[z,{x,y},{0,0},t[x,y], BaseStyle->FontColor->White]]

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ To make the contour labels more readable (i.e., no upside down contour labels), I've added in the 'function t2[z_] := If[z[[1]] < 0 && z[[2]] < 0, -z, If[z[[1]] < 0, {-z[[1]], z[[2]]}, z]]` and replaced t[x, y] with t2[t[x, y]]. Is there a better way? (Is this a separate question?) $\endgroup$
    – JimB
    Dec 6, 2019 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ After looking at this a bit more just using Sign[t[x, y][[1]]] t[x, y] in place of t[x, y] seems to do the trick. $\endgroup$
    – JimB
    Dec 7, 2019 at 16:14

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