Spine placement#

The position of the axis spines can be influenced using set_position.

Note: If you want to obtain arrow heads at the ends of the axes, also check out the Centered spines with arrows example.

import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
x = np.linspace(0, 2*np.pi, 100)
y = 2 * np.sin(x)

fig, ax_dict = plt.subplot_mosaic(
    [['center', 'zero'],
     ['axes', 'data']]
)
fig.suptitle('Spine positions')


ax = ax_dict['center']
ax.set_title("'center'")
ax.plot(x, y)
ax.spines[['left', 'bottom']].set_position('center')
ax.spines[['top', 'right']].set_visible(False)

ax = ax_dict['zero']
ax.set_title("'zero'")
ax.plot(x, y)
ax.spines[['left', 'bottom']].set_position('zero')
ax.spines[['top', 'right']].set_visible(False)

ax = ax_dict['axes']
ax.set_title("'axes' (0.2, 0.2)")
ax.plot(x, y)
ax.spines.left.set_position(('axes', 0.2))
ax.spines.bottom.set_position(('axes', 0.2))
ax.spines[['top', 'right']].set_visible(False)

ax = ax_dict['data']
ax.set_title("'data' (1, 2)")
ax.plot(x, y)
ax.spines.left.set_position(('data', 1))
ax.spines.bottom.set_position(('data', 2))
ax.spines[['top', 'right']].set_visible(False)
Spine positions, 'center', 'zero', 'axes' (0.2, 0.2), 'data' (1, 2)

Define a method that adjusts the location of the axis spines

def adjust_spines(ax, spines):
    for loc, spine in ax.spines.items():
        if loc in spines:
            spine.set_position(('outward', 10))  # outward by 10 points
        else:
            spine.set_color('none')  # don't draw spine

    # turn off ticks where there is no spine
    if 'left' in spines:
        ax.yaxis.set_ticks_position('left')
    else:
        # no yaxis ticks
        ax.yaxis.set_ticks([])

    if 'bottom' in spines:
        ax.xaxis.set_ticks_position('bottom')
    else:
        # no xaxis ticks
        ax.xaxis.set_ticks([])

Create another figure using our new adjust_spines method

fig = plt.figure()

x = np.linspace(0, 2 * np.pi, 100)
y = 2 * np.sin(x)

ax = fig.add_subplot(2, 2, 1)
ax.plot(x, y, clip_on=False)
adjust_spines(ax, ['left'])

ax = fig.add_subplot(2, 2, 2)
ax.plot(x, y, clip_on=False)
adjust_spines(ax, [])

ax = fig.add_subplot(2, 2, 3)
ax.plot(x, y, clip_on=False)
adjust_spines(ax, ['left', 'bottom'])

ax = fig.add_subplot(2, 2, 4)
ax.plot(x, y, clip_on=False)
adjust_spines(ax, ['bottom'])

plt.show()
spine placement demo

Total running time of the script: ( 0 minutes 1.666 seconds)

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