Matplotlib bottom cannot be <= top

I just came across this topic and am encountering a similar, if not identical problem, which arose only yesterday and which I could not solve using the above. Running Mac (OS Big Sur 11.3.1) with Python 3.9.2, IDLE 3.9.2, matplotlib 3.4.2, and mne 0.23.0.

Here’s my code:

import mne'file.edf', preload=True)

Here’s my error message:

   File "/Users/fishbacp/Desktop/", line 22, in <module> raw.plot()
    File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site- 
   packages/mne/io/", line 1531, in plot
    return plot_raw(self, events, duration, start, n_channels, bgcolor,
  File "<decorator-gen-161>", line 24, in plot_raw
  File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site-packages/mne/viz/", line 342, in plot_raw
    fig = _browse_figure(**params)
  File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site-packages/mne/viz/", line 2278, in _browse_figure
    fig = _figure(inst=inst, toolbar=False, FigureClass=MNEBrowseFigure,
  File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site-packages/mne/viz/", line 2266, in _figure
    fig = figure(FigureClass=FigureClass, **kwargs)
  File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site-packages/matplotlib/", line 797, in figure
    manager = new_figure_manager(
  File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site-packages/matplotlib/", line 316, in new_figure_manager
    return _backend_mod.new_figure_manager(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site-packages/matplotlib/", line 3544, in new_figure_manager
    fig = fig_cls(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site-packages/mne/viz/", line 401, in __init__
    self.subplotpars.update(left=left, bottom=bottom, top=top, right=right)
  File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.9/lib/python3.9/site-packages/matplotlib/", line 166, in update
    raise ValueError('bottom cannot be >= top')
ValueError: bottom cannot be >= top ```

I reinstalled matplotlib and mne and restarted my computer, but this doesn’t solve the problem. The data is loaded fine, as I can print out

I entered print(mne.get_config_path()) as suggested above. It shows


I don’t see this file anywhere in my system. I install mne with all my other packages in




the get_config_path() function doesn’t actually check whether a config file exists there, and indeed it may not exist unless you’ve called mne.set_config(...) at least once. Quite likely your problem is that it’s trying to plot a raw browser interface into a 640x480 window. I suggest running mne.set_config('MNE_BROWSE_RAW_SIZE', '16,9', setenv=False) and see if it works after that. Subsequently, the size of the browse window will be automatically stored in the config file, so matplotlib won’t attempt to open such a small window for raw data browsers any more.

1 Like


The Finder won’t show you this hidden folder by default. To navigate to the folder containing the file, in the Finder press Cmd–Shift–G and enter ~/.mne in the dialog box.

If you follow our official installation instructions, you should actually end up with a conda environment at a different location. Not saying that this is the cause of your issue, but we do observe that sometimes, problems arise if users install MNE-Python in a “non-standard” way (i.e., deviating from our installation instructions).

Thanks. Was able to find the file and delete it.