Inverted axis#

This example demonstrates two ways to invert the direction of an axis:

  • If you want to set explicit axis limits anyway, e.g. via set_xlim, you can swap the limit values: set_xlim(4, 0) instead of set_xlim(0, 4).

  • Use Axis.set_inverted if you only want to invert the axis without modifying the limits, i.e. keep existing limits or existing autoscaling behavior.

Inverted axis with ..., fixed limits: set_xlim(4, 0), autoscaling: set_inverted(True)
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

x = np.arange(0.01, 4.0, 0.01)
y = np.exp(-x)

fig, (ax1, ax2) = plt.subplots(1, 2, figsize=(6.4,  4), layout="constrained")
fig.suptitle('Inverted axis with ...')

ax1.plot(x, y)
ax1.set_xlim(4, 0)   # inverted fixed limits
ax1.set_title('fixed limits: set_xlim(4, 0)')
ax1.set_xlabel('decreasing x ⟶')

ax2.plot(x, y)
ax2.xaxis.set_inverted(True)  # inverted axis with autoscaling
ax2.set_title('autoscaling: set_inverted(True)')
ax2.set_xlabel('decreasing x ⟶')

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