represents an empty canvas in the current notebook in which you can do free-form drawing.


represents a canvas that initially contains the specified 2D graphic.

Details and Options

  • Clicking a canvas reveals a set of drawing tools that can be used to edit or annotate the content of the graphic.
  • Canvas[graphic] requires graphic to be a Graphics object, and it allows deep edits of the contents of graphic by the drawing tools.
  • Canvas[] is equivalent to Canvas[Graphics[]].
  • The following options can be given:
  • BackgroundNonebackground for the canvas
    BaseStyle{}base style specifications for the canvas
    FrameTruewhether to put a frame around the canvas
    FrameStyle{}style specifications for the frame
    ImageSizeAutomaticthe absolute size at which to render the canvas
  • If Canvas is given any other legal option for Graphics, the option will be applied directly to graphic.
  • If Background is given an expression that is not a color, the rendering of the expression is used as the background for the canvas. Background expressions are not editable by the drawing tools.
  • ImageSizeAutomatic will use the ImageSize of graphic if it is explicitly given. Otherwise, if Backgroundexpr specifies a background expression, the size of expr will be used. If neither of these conditions holds, then Automatic is equivalent to Medium.
  • Canvas can also wrap an existing Canvas expression, in which case the two expressions will be merged, with options for the outer Canvas overriding the options for the inner one.


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Basic Examples  (2)

Create an empty canvas:

Wrap a canvas around a plot:

Wrap a canvas around the plot so the underlying plot cannot be altered:

Scope  (4)

Make a canvas of a Graphics expression:

Make a canvas of a two-dimensional plot:

Wrap Canvas around something that is already a canvas:

Apply a graphical option such as Axes to the first argument:

Properties & Relations  (3)

Wrapping an existing Canvas expression with Canvas merges the options of the two:

If the expressions have conflicting options, the outer Canvas overrides the inner one:

Convert a canvas to a graphic using Normal:

Normal strips the frame provided by Canvas:

Applying Normal to a Canvas with a background expression results in an expression that looks identical:

The input form of the resulting expression will be an Overlay:

Possible Issues  (2)

If a canvas cannot be selected, no drawing tools will be available:

If a canvas is in a non-editable environment, selecting the canvas will not produce drawing tools:

Wolfram Research (2020), Canvas, Wolfram Language function,


Wolfram Research (2020), Canvas, Wolfram Language function,


Wolfram Language. 2020. "Canvas." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research.


Wolfram Language. (2020). Canvas. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from


@misc{reference.wolfram_2023_canvas, author="Wolfram Research", title="{Canvas}", year="2020", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 21-April-2024 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2023_canvas, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={Canvas}, year={2020}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 21-April-2024 ]}