represents an object obj inset in a graphic.


specifies that the inset should be placed at position pos in the graphic.


aligns the inset so that position opos in the object lies at position pos in the enclosing graphic.


specifies the size of the inset in the coordinate system of the enclosing graphic.


specifies that the axes of the inset should be oriented in directions dirs.

Details and Options

  • Inset can be used in Graphics and Graphics3D.
  • In interactive manipulation, Inset[obj,] is by default selected as a single unit. A doubleclick is required to select individual elements inside.
  • The object obj can be a graphic, cell expression, string, or any other expression.
  • An object inset in Graphics3D is displayed as a billboard while the 3D graphic is rotated.
  • Positions can be specified by:
  • {x,y}ordinary coordinates in a plot
    Scaled[{x,y},]scaled coordinates from 0 to 1
    ImageScaled[{x,y},]scaled coordinates from 0 to 1 across a whole image
    Offset[{dx,dy},]absolute offset in printer's points
    Center, etc.{Center,Center}, etc.
    {valx,valy,valz}coordinates in a 3D graphic
  • coordinates can be numbers, Automatic, or Left, Center, Right, or Axis.
  • coordinates can be numbers, Automatic, or Top, Center, Bottom, Baseline, or Axis.
  • Axis corresponds to the position of the axis in a plot or the center line in typeset text.
  • Center corresponds to a position centered with respect to the whole image.
  • Inset[obj] is equivalent to Inset[obj,Center].
  • The default for opos is the setting for the AlignmentPoint option of obj, or by default, the center of the bounding box for obj.
  • If size is Automatic, the inset is given at its natural size:
  • graphicdetermined by ImageSize setting
    typeset expressionabsolute size without wrapping
  • A size of {w,Automatic} specifies that a typeset expression should be wrapped at width w.
  • If size is given as {w,h}, then any object obj whose aspect ratio is not fixed will be horizontally or vertically stretched so as to fit exactly in a w×h rectangle.
  • If obj is an object with fixed aspect ratio, then blank space will be left equally on both sides if there is a direction where the object would have to be stretched in order to fit exactly.
  • The setting for the option Background specifies the background to be used for the whole region of the inset.
  • By default, the inset is arranged so that its and directions are oriented with the and directions of the enclosing graphic.
  • Inset[,dirs] can be used to specify different orientations.
  • Possible choices for dirs are:
  • Automaticdefault orientation
    {xx,xy} direction along {xx,xy}
    {Automatic,{yx,yy}} direction along {yx,yy}
    {{xx,xy},{yx,yy}} and directions along {xx,xy} and {yx,yy}
    Nonenever reorient the contents of the Inset
  • Specifying only the or only the direction in general leads to a rigid rotation of the inset.
  • Specifying both the and directions in general leads to a rotation and shear, in which the original inset rectangle becomes a parallelogram defined by the vector directions given.
  • Only the directions of the vectors {xx,xy} and {yx,yy} are significant; the scale of the inset is determined by {w,h}.
  • With dirs specified as None, the direction of obj is always maintained as horizontal.
  • With dirs specified as {Automatic,None}, the direction is maintained as vertical.
  • If Inset[Graphics3D[],{x,y}] appears in a 2D graphic, then the projection of the alignment point of the Graphics3D, or by default the center of its 2D bounding box, will be placed at position {x,y} in the 2D graphic.
  • Inset[Graphics3D[],{x,y,z},{ox,oy}] specifies that position {ox,oy} in the 2D projection of the object should lie at position {x,y,z}.
  • The 2D graphic is always taken to be oriented parallel to the viewing plane for the 3D graphic.
  • The following options can be given for Inset:
  • Alignment Lefthow to align the contents of the inset
    Background Nonethe background to use for the whole region of the inset
    BaseStyle {}the base style to use for the inset
    ContentSelectable Automaticwhether to allow contents to be selected
    FormatType Automaticformat type for text
  • Background->Automatic uses whatever background has been specified for the whole graphic containing the inset.
  • Scaled, ImageScaled, and Offset forms can be used to specify the size.


open allclose all

Basic Examples  (4)

Inset a plot into a disk:

Inset an expression in a graphic:

Inset 3D graphics above a 2D plot:

Inset a 2D graphic into a 3D graphic:

Scope  (19)

Positions  (6)

By default, Center is used for the position:

Automatic is equivalent to Center:

Specify ordinary coordinates in a graphic:

Use Scaled coordinates:

ImageScaled specifies coordinates in a whole image including padding:

Use Offset coordinates:

Symbolic positions can be specified:

Alignments  (4)

By default, Center is used for the alignment position:

Automatic is equivalent to Center:

Specify an alignment position within the inset, using symbolic positions:

Specify an alignment position using the inset graphics coordinates:

Set the axis as an alignment position:

Sizes  (6)

If the size is not given, or is Automatic, the image size of the inset graphic is used:

For typeset expressions, absolute font size is used:

Specify the width of the inset by the units of the enclosing graphic:

Given both width and height sizes, the inset graphic will be stretched, if the aspect ratio is not fixed:

{w,Automatic} specifies the width at which a typeset expression should be wrapped:

In 3D graphics, image size is specified in absolute values:

Scaled can also be used to specify the image size:

Directions  (3)

Specify the direction with which the axis of the inset should be aligned:

Specify the direction with which the axis of the inset should be aligned:

Specify the directions for the and axes separately:

Generalizations & Extensions  (3)

Flip in the direction:

Flip in the direction:

Inset a control:

Options  (7)

Alignment  (1)

Determine how to align the contents of the inset:

Background  (1)

Specify the background color:

BaseStyle  (2)

Set the base style:

Use a named style:

ContentSelectable  (1)

Determine whether to allow the contents to be selected:

FormatType  (2)

By default, expressions are displayed using TraditionalForm:

Display expressions using StandardForm:

Applications  (3)

Multiple function plot with a legend:

Select countries:

Set up an annotation function using Inset:

Display the map with the annotations:

Define a stock plot with a legend:

Draw stock price changes of a few automakers:

Properties & Relations  (2)

The symbolic positions are relative to ImageScaled coordinates:

For typeset expressions, Text offers functionality similar to Inset:

Neat Examples  (1)

Random collage of text:

Wolfram Research (2007), Inset, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2014).


Wolfram Research (2007), Inset, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2014).


Wolfram Language. 2007. "Inset." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research. Last Modified 2014.


Wolfram Language. (2007). Inset. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from


@misc{reference.wolfram_2024_inset, author="Wolfram Research", title="{Inset}", year="2014", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 15-June-2024 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2024_inset, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={Inset}, year={2014}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 15-June-2024 ]}