# Manipulating Options

There are a number of functions built into *Mathematica* which, like Plot, have various options you can set. *Mathematica* provides some general mechanisms for handling such options.

If you do not give a specific setting for an option to a function like Plot, then *Mathematica* will automatically use a default value for the option. The function Options[function, option] allows you to find out the default value for a particular option. You can reset the default using SetOptions[function, option->value]. Note that if you do this, the default value you have given will stay until you explicitly change it.

Options[function] | give a list of the current default settings for all options |

Options[function,option] | give the default setting for a particular option |

SetOptions[function,option->value,...] | reset defaults |

Manipulating default settings for options.

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This resets the default for the

PlotRange option. The semicolon stops

*Mathematica* from printing out the rather long list of options for

Plot.

Until you explicitly reset it, the default for the

PlotRange option will now be

All.

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The graphics objects that you get from Plot or Show store information on the options they use. You can get this information by applying the Options function to these graphics objects.

Options[plot] | show all the options used for a particular plot |

Options[plot,option] | show the setting for a specific option |

AbsoluteOptions[plot,option] | show the absolute form used for a specific option, even if the setting for the option is Automatic or All |

Getting information on options used in plots.

Here is a plot, with default settings for all options.

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While it is often convenient to use a variable to represent a graphic as in the above examples, the graphic itself can be evaluated directly. The typical ways to do this in the notebook interface are to copy and paste the graphic or to simply begin typing in the graphical output cell, at which point the output cell will be converted into a new input cell.

When a plot created with no explicit ImageSize is placed into an input cell, it will automatically shrink to more easily accommodate input.

The following input cell was created by copying and pasting the graphical output created in the previous example.

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