Matplotlib, a widely-used Python library for data visualization, offers a rich set of features for creating various types of plots. However, users may occasionally encounter an error message stating “matplotlib has no attribute subplots.” This error typically arises when trying to access the subplots() function from the matplotlib.pyplot module, which is essential for creating multiple subplots within a single figure.

To resolve this issue, it’s crucial to ensure that the matplotlib.pyplot module has been imported correctly. The recommended way to do this is using the following import statement at the beginning of your script:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

This import statement assigns the name plt to the matplotlib.pyplot module, allowing you to use the subplots() function as plt.subplots(). If you have already imported matplotlib but using a different alias, make sure to use that alias when calling the subplots() function.

Understanding Subplots

What are Subplots?

Subplots are individual plots arranged within a single figure. They are useful for comparing data sets, visualizing different aspects of the same data, or creating a more structured layout. Matplotlib offers two methods for creating subplots: the subplots() function in the pyplot module and the add_subplot() method of the Figure object.

Using Subplots() Function

The subplots() function takes several parameters, including the number of rows and columns of subplots, the spacing between them, and the sharex and sharey arguments for controlling axis sharing. The function returns a tuple containing the figure object and an array of subplot axes objects. Each subplot axes object can be used to plot data and customize its appearance.

Resolving the Error

Incorrect Import

The most common reason for the “matplotlib has no attribute subplots” error is an incorrect import of the matplotlib.pyplot module. Verify that you have imported the module using the correct import statement and alias.

Outdated Version

Another potential cause is an outdated version of matplotlib. Update your matplotlib installation by running the command:

pip install –upgrade matplotlib

Plot Customization

Setting Labels and Titles

Once you have created your subplots, you can customize their appearance by setting labels and titles. Use the set_xlabel(), set_ylabel(), and set_title() methods on the subplot axes object to set the labels and titles for the respective axes and the overall subplot.

Adding Legends

Legends provide information about the data plotted in each subplot. To add a legend, use the legend() method on the subplot axes object. You can specify the location of the legend using the loc parameter.

Troubleshooting Tips

Check Your Code

Carefully review your code to ensure there are no typos or errors in the import statement or function call. Ensure that you have correctly imported the matplotlib.pyplot module and are using the correct alias.

Consult Documentation

Refer to the official Matplotlib documentation for more detailed information on subplots() function and other related functions. The documentation provides comprehensive examples and explanations.

Additional Resources

Online Forums

Participate in online forums dedicated to Matplotlib or Python programming, where you can ask questions and get assistance from experienced users.

Stack Overflow

Search and ask questions on Stack Overflow, a popular Q&A platform for programmers. The community can provide valuable insights and solutions to your matplotlib-related queries.


The “matplotlib has no attribute subplots” error typically occurs due to an incorrect import of the matplotlib.pyplot module. By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to resolve this error and successfully use the subplots() function to create subplots in your Matplotlib visualizations. Remember to refer to the official documentation and seek help from online communities when needed.



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