I tried

ContourPlot[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, ContourLabels->automatic] 

, but it messes up the contourplot. How can I just add values to the contours for

ContourPlot[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}]



2 Answers 2


Looking at the rather dismal automatic placement of contour labels in the example Sin[x y], I thought it may be worth pointing out that you can often get better results with customized placement.

For this, I devised a function burnTooltip in this answer. Here is how to use it for this question:

Options[burnTooltips] = {ImageSize -> 360, 
   "LabelFunction" -> (Framed[#, FrameStyle -> None, 
       RoundingRadius -> 8, Background -> RGBColor[1, .8, .4]] &)};

burnTooltips[plot_, opt : OptionsPattern[]] := 
 DynamicModule[{ins = {}, wrapper = OptionValue["LabelFunction"], 
   toolRule = 
     Tooltip[t__] :> 
        Inset[wrapper[Last[{t}]], MousePosition["Graphics"]]]], 
   Dynamic@Show[plot /. toolRule[ins], Graphics@ins, 
     ImageSize -> OptionValue[ImageSize]], {"MouseUp", 
     2} :> (toolRule = {} &)]]

f[x_, y_] := Sin[x y]
p = ContourPlot[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, 
   ContourLabels -> Automatic];



When you execute the last line, the plot appears and tooltips will be shown when you hover over the contours. If you see a tooltip in a location that you like, click the mouse. Repeat this for as many labels as you need. Every time you click, a new label will be added permanently at the mouse position. When you're done, you have to right-click on the plot. That will end the dynamic interactivity and burn the existing labels in place.

f[x_, y_] := Sin[x y]
ContourPlot[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, ContourLabels -> All]

Mathematica graphics

Or if you want only some of them:

f[x_, y_] := Sin[x y]
ContourPlot[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, 
            ContourLabels -> (If[Abs@#3 <= .25, Text[#3, {#1, #2}]] &)]

Mathematica graphics


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.