In this article, we will discuss how you can construct a figure from a JSON string from a local file or a readable Python object using the read_json() function.

Let’s dive in.

The read_json() function from Plotly’s io module allows you to pass a JSON string from a file or readable object. It then parses the JSON data and returns the figure from it.

The function syntax is as shown:, output_type='Figure', skip_invalid=False, engine=None)

The function parameters are below:

  1. File – specifies the path to the local file or a readable Python object as a string.
  2. Output _type – specifies the figure type or type name. Accepted values include “graph_objects.Figure. Figure, graph_objects.FigureWidgets, or FigureWidget’
  3. Skip_invalid – allows the function to ignore invalid properties and attempt to construct the Figure despite the errors (TRUE). If set to False, the function will return an error on any invalid property.
  4. Engine – specifies the JSON decoding engine. Accepted values include:
    1. ‘json’ – uses the built-in JSON module.
    2. ‘orjson’ – uses the orjson module (requires install).
    3. ‘auto’ – automatically choose.

The function will then return the original Figure of type Figure or FigureWidget as specified in the output_type parameter.

Plotly Export Figure to JSON

Before we learn how to create a figure from a JSON string, let’s cover how we can export a figure into a JSON file.

For that, we can use the function. An example code is shown below:

import as px
df =
fig =, y="total_bill")

The code above creates a simple box plot, as shown in the resulting figure below:

We can export it as a JSON file as shown:

import as io
with open('box_plot.json', 'w') as f:

The code above will take the figure and convert it to a JSON string. We then write the JSON string to a file using the open function.

The example resulting JSON string is as shown below:

    "data": [
            "alignmentgroup": "True",
            "hovertemplate": "total_bill=%{y}",
            "legendgroup": "",
            "marker": {
                "color": "#636efa"
            "name": "",
            "notched": false,
            "offsetgroup": "",
            "orientation": "v",
            "showlegend": false,
            "x0": " ",
            "xaxis": "x",
            "y": [
----data truncated-----------------

Once we have the JSON file, we can proceed to convert it into a figure.

Plotly Convert JSON to Figure

To convert the JSON file into a Figure, we can use the read_json() function as shown below:

with open('line_plot.json') as f:
    fig = io.from_json(data, output_type='FigureWidget')

The code above should read the specified JSON file and construct the figure as a FigureWidget.

Unlike the from_json() function, the read_json function does not require you to parse the JSON into a string first.


This tutorial covered how to construct a Figure from a JSON file or Python Object using the function.

About the author

John Otieno

My name is John and am a fellow geek like you. I am passionate about all things computers from Hardware, Operating systems to Programming. My dream is to share my knowledge with the world and help out fellow geeks. Follow my content by subscribing to LinuxHint mailing list