Cairo backend for Makie
Author JuliaPlots
26 Stars
Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
October 2018


The Cairo Backend for Makie

CI codecov


To add CairoMakie to your environment, simply run the following in the REPL:

]add CairoMakie

If you are using CairoMakie and GLMakie together, you can use each backend's activate! function to switch between them.

# use GLMakie interactively
# save the scene as a vector graphic


Please file all issues in Makie.jl, and mention CairoMakie in the issue text.


CairoMakie is intended as a backend for static vector graphics at publication quality. Therefore, it does not support the interactive features of GLMakie and is slower when visualizing large amounts data. 3D plots are currently not available because of the inherent limitations of 2D vector graphics.


Makie overloads the FileIO interface, so you can save a Scene scene as save("filename.extension", scene). CairoMakie supports saving to PNG, PDF, SVG and EPS.

You can scale the size of the output figure, without changing its appearance by passing keyword arguments to save. PNGs can be scaled by px_per_unit (default 1) and vector graphics (SVG, PDF, EPS) can be scaled by pt_per_unit.

save("plot.svg", scene, pt_per_unit = 0.5) # halve the dimensions of the resulting SVG
save("plot.png", scene, px_per_unit = 2) # double the resolution of the resulting PNG

Using CairoMakie with Gtk.jl

You can render onto a GtkCanvas using Gtk, and use that as a display for your scenes.

using Gtk, CairoMakie, AbstractPlotting

canvas = @GtkCanvas()
window = GtkWindow(canvas, "Makie", 500, 500)

function drawonto(canvas, scene)
    @guarded draw(canvas) do _
       resize!(scene, Gtk.width(canvas), Gtk.height(canvas))
       screen = CairoMakie.CairoScreen(scene, Gtk.cairo_surface(canvas), getgc(canvas), nothing)
       CairoMakie.cairo_draw(screen, scene)

scene = heatmap(rand(50, 50)) # or something

drawonto(canvas, scene)
show(canvas); # trigger rendering