Hiding axis text in matplotlib plots


Question

I'm trying to plot a figure without tickmarks or numbers on either of the axes (I use axes in the traditional sense, not the matplotlib nomenclature!). An issue I have come across is where matplotlib adjusts the x(y)ticklabels by subtracting a value N, then adds N at the end of the axis.

This may be vague, but the following simplified example highlights the issue, with '6.18' being the offending value of N:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import random
prefix = 6.18

rx = [prefix+(0.001*random.random()) for i in arange(100)]
ry = [prefix+(0.001*random.random()) for i in arange(100)]
plt.plot(rx,ry,'ko')

frame1 = plt.gca()
for xlabel_i in frame1.axes.get_xticklabels():
    xlabel_i.set_visible(False)
    xlabel_i.set_fontsize(0.0)
for xlabel_i in frame1.axes.get_yticklabels():
    xlabel_i.set_fontsize(0.0)
    xlabel_i.set_visible(False)
for tick in frame1.axes.get_xticklines():
    tick.set_visible(False)
for tick in frame1.axes.get_yticklines():
    tick.set_visible(False)

plt.show()

The three things I would like to know are:

  1. How to turn off this behaviour in the first place (although in most cases it is useful, it is not always!) I have looked through matplotlib.axis.XAxis and cannot find anything appropriate

  2. How can I make N disappear (i.e. X.set_visible(False))

  3. Is there a better way to do the above anyway? My final plot would be 4x4 subplots in a figure, if that is relevant.

1
313
6/25/2012 8:53:39 PM

Accepted Answer

Instead of hiding each element, you can hide the whole axis:

frame1.axes.get_xaxis().set_visible(False)
frame1.axes.get_yaxis().set_visible(False)

Or, you can set the ticks to an empty list:

frame1.axes.get_xaxis().set_ticks([])
frame1.axes.get_yaxis().set_ticks([])

In this second option, you can still use plt.xlabel() and plt.ylabel() to add labels to the axes.

397
4/26/2018 3:55:18 PM

If you want to hide just the axis text keeping the grid lines:

frame1 = plt.gca()
frame1.axes.xaxis.set_ticklabels([])
frame1.axes.yaxis.set_ticklabels([])

Doing set_visible(False) or set_ticks([]) will also hide the grid lines.


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