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IDL

Axis References in IDL Graphics

Axis References in IDL Graphics

Each Axis in an IDL Graphic has a numeric reference that can be used to modify its properties after a graphic's creation. This topic presents the axis references for both two and three-dimensional graphics.

Axis References for Two-Dimensional Graphics


Each axis in a two-dimensional graphic is referenced by a number within IDL. Axis numbering begins with "0" (zero) for the bottom x-axis and continues clockwise to "3" for the right-hand y-axis. See the plot below for more detail:

To generate this plot, copy and paste the following code to the IDL command line:

x = findgen(100)/5
y = beselj(x)
myPlot = PLOT(x, y, COLOR='red', NAME='bessel_j0')
 
; Use hash notation to change properties to display axis titles
myPlot['axis0'].TITLE = 'Axis 0'
myPlot['axis1'].TITLE = 'Axis 1'
myPlot['axis2'].TITLE = 'Axis 2'
 
; Turn on text display for upper x-axis
myPlot['axis2'].SHOWTEXT = 1
myPlot['axis3'].TITLE = 'Axis 3'
 
; Turn on text display for right y-axis
myPlot['axis3'].SHOWTEXT = 1

You may notice that by default, IDL does not display the numbering and titles for the upper x-axis and the right y-axis. To toggle axis text on or off use the SHOWTEXT property. For additional information on SHOWTEXT or other axis properties, see the AXIS function topic.

Axes for Three-Dimensional Graphics


Axis numbers are slightly different in three-dimensional graphics. The primary axes are numbered "0" for the x-axis, "1" for the y-axis, and "2" for the z-axis. See the graphic below for the numeric references of the remaining axes.

To generate this plot yourself, copy and paste the following code to the IDL command line:

; Define the data.
x = FINDGEN(200)
 
; Display a three-dimensional plot and define the color, thickness, and plot symbol.
; Use REPLICATE() to blank out the ticklabels so the axis titles are clearer.
my3DPlot = plot3d(x * cos(x/10), x*sin(x/10), x, 'b2d', AXIS_STYLE=2, /NODATA, $
   xtickname=REPLICATE(' ', 5), $
   ytickname=REPLICATE(' ', 5), $
   ztickname=REPLICATE(' ', 5))
 
; Add the axis titles.
my3DPlot['axis0'].TITLE = 'Axis 0 (X)'
my3DPlot['axis1'].TITLE = 'Axis 1 (Y)'
my3DPlot['axis2'].TITLE = 'Axis 2 (Z)'
my3DPlot['axis3'].TITLE = 'Axis 3'
my3DPlot['axis3'].SHOWTEXT = 1
my3DPlot['axis4'].TITLE = 'Axis 4'
my3DPlot['axis4'].SHOWTEXT = 1
my3DPlot['axis5'].TITLE = 'Axis 5'
my3DPlot['axis5'].SHOWTEXT = 1
my3DPlot['axis6'].TITLE = 'Axis 6'
my3DPlot['axis6'].SHOWTEXT = 1
my3DPlot['axis7'].TITLE = 'Axis 7'
my3DPlot['axis7'].SHOWTEXT = 1
my3DPlot['axis8'].TITLE = 'Axis 8'
my3DPlot['axis8'].SHOWTEXT = 1
my3DPlot['axis9'].TITLE = 'Axis 9'
my3DPlot['axis9'].SHOWTEXT = 1
my3DPlot['axis10'].TITLE = 'Axis 10'
my3DPlot['axis10'].SHOWTEXT = 1
my3DPlot['axis11'].TITLE = 'Axis 11'
my3DPlot['axis11'].SHOWTEXT = 1

 

If you create the graphic and have trouble reading any of the axis titles, simply use your mouse to select and rotate the graphic as needed. Again, by default, IDL does not display the numbering and titles for the upper x-axis and the right y-axis. To toggle axis text on or off use the SHOWTEXT property. For additional information on SHOWTEXT or other axis properties, see the AXIS function topic.

Using Axis References


You can use these numeric axis references to change the properties of an axis after the creation of a graphic. See the topics Change Graphics Properties and Axes for more information.

See Also


AXIS function, Axes, Change Graphics Properties, IMAGE, PLOT, PLOT3D



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