# How to | Make a Smoother or Rougher Plot

*Mathematica* gives you the ability to fine-tune the level of detail for your plots. To get a rough sketch of a plot, you can tell *Mathematica* to plot fewer points. The more points you have in a plot, the more detailed the results will be.

First, plot a simple function:

Out[1]= | |

Set the option Mesh->All to see the default sample points that *Mathematica *uses:

Out[2]= | |

You can adjust the number of sample points plotted with PlotPoints. MaxRecursion controls how many recursive subdivisions can be made:

Setting values for PlotPoints and MaxRecursion high makes a very detailed picture at the cost of speed. AbsoluteTiming prints how long (in seconds) it takes to evaluate:

Out[4]= | |

Smaller values for PlotPoints and MaxRecursion give a rougher but much faster result:

Out[5]= | |

You can get a misleading result if these parameter values are chosen poorly. This is the accurate plot produced by *Mathematica*'s default settings:

Out[6]= | |

Setting PlotPoints too low yields a misleading result:

Out[7]= | |

You can compensate for a low PlotPoints value by increasing MaxRecursion, but this will often take much longer, and may still be inaccurate:

Out[8]= | |