Displaying Legends in FacetGrid Histograms

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to ensure legends appear correctly in Seaborn’s FacetGrid histograms. By following the steps outlined here, you can enhance your data visualization skills and create visually appealing plots with clear category differentiations.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

When working with multiple histograms on a FacetGrid using Seaborn, it’s common to face an issue where the legend does not automatically show up. This can hinder the interpretability of your plots, especially when dealing with datasets requiring category differentiation.

The solution involves understanding how Seaborn handles legends within a FacetGrid context. By explicitly adding a legend after plotting and ensuring that your plot calls support legend generation, you can overcome this challenge. This guide will walk you through the necessary steps and code adjustments needed to display legends as intended.


import seaborn as sns
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Sample Data
tips = sns.load_dataset('tips')

# Create a FacetGrid
g = sns.FacetGrid(tips, col="time", hue="smoker")
g.map(sns.histplot, "total_bill")

# Add Legend Manually


# Copyright PHD


In this solution: – Step 1: Load the dataset (tips) for demonstration purposes. – Step 2: Create a FacetGrid specifying columns (col) for facets and hues (hue) for categorization. – Step 3: Use .map() with sns.histplot to plot histograms based on the specified column. – Step 4: Call .add_legend() on the grid object before displaying the plots to generate and display the legend.

By following these steps, you can visually differentiate data across facets using categorical legends, making your visualizations both informative and visually appealing.

  1. How do I change the position of the legend?

  2. To change the legend’s position post calling .add_legend(), use Matplotlib functions like .legend(loc=’new_location’).

  3. Can I customize my histogram further?

  4. Yes! Pass additional keyword arguments through .map() into sns.histplot() for further customization such as bin size or color palette.

  5. What if I want different kinds of plots on my FacetGrid?

  6. The .map() method allows any plot type; replace sns.histplot with another suitable plotting function.

  7. Do I always need to add a legend manually in FacetGrid?

  8. Not necessarily. Some plotting functions may auto-generate legends based on their implementation but manual addition provides more control over appearance.

  9. Is it possible to have subplots with different y-axis scales?

  10. Yes, controlled by Matplotlib functionality directly via ax objects accessed from the grid object post plotting.


By effectively displaying legends on histograms within Seaborn’s Facet Grids, you enhance clarity by clearly distinguishing categories. Understanding methods like .add_legend() empowers users to have flexibility over their visual outputs while maintaining professional standards effortlessly.

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