To plot two lines in black on same plot, I specified

 PlotStyle -> {{Dashing[Large], Black}, {Dashing[Medium], Black}}

Is it possible be more concise? To specify the color on once for both lines? Something like

 PlotStyle -> Black, {Dashing[Large], Dashing[Medium]}

I am aware of

PlotTheme -> Monochrome

But do not want to use it because of other settings (Frame...)


1 Answer 1


There are many ways to what you ask. Here are two.

Plot[{2 x + 2, 4 x}, {x, 0, 2},
  PlotStyle -> ({Black, Dashing[#]}& /@ {Large, Medium})]

Plot[{2 x + 2, 4 x}, {x, 0, 2},
  ColorFunction -> (Black&),
  PlotStyle -> {{Dashing @ Large}, {Dashing @ Medium}}]

Both of the above expressions produce the following plot.



I am moved to discuss a more general case that seems to come up quite a lot. This is when there are several functions or expression to plot in one panel and all are to have a common plot style except for one which requires custom styling to focus attention on it. I also want to make it easy to experiment with both the default styling and the call-out styling.

My approach will be to generalize the first example I gave above.

Let a number of expressions be given for plotting and assume the 3rd expression is the one that needs a call-out.

I will choose four expressions for this example, but will not rely on knowing that number in the following code.

lines = # x & /@ Range[4]
 {x, 2 x, 3 x, 4 x}

The default style for the lines will be black color, absolute thickness specification of 2 pts, and absolute dashing specification {3, 5}, also in pts. The call-out style will be red, 3 pts, and {6,,10}.

 styleDefaults = {Black, 1.5, {3, 5}};
 callOut = 3 -> {Red, 3, {6, 10}};

Note I use a rule to specify the call-out. That is because I am going to insert it with ReplacePart as you will now see.

 styleData = ReplacePart[ConstantArray[styleDefaults, Length[lines]], callOut]

The plot is then made like so:

Plot[lines, {x, 0, 2},
  PlotStyle -> (
    {#[[1]], AbsoluteThickness[#[[2]]], AbsoluteDashing[#[[3]]]} & /@ styleData)]


Of course, if this were working code and not a tutorial, everything would be wrapped in a Module expression to localize the auxiliary variables..

Module[{lines, styleDefaults, callOut, styleData},
  lines = # x & /@ Range[4];
  styleDefaults = {Black, 1.5, {3, 5}};
  callOut = 3 -> {Red, 3, {6, 10}};
  styleData =
    ReplacePart[ConstantArray[styleDefaults, Length[lines]], callOut];
  Plot[lines, {x, 0, 2},
    PlotStyle ->
      ({#[[1]], AbsoluteThickness[#[[2]]], AbsoluteDashing[#[[3]]]} & /@ styleData)]]
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 I am beginning to appreciate ReplacePart which I have previously ignored. $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2015 at 12:55

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