graphics (version 3.6.2)

axTicks: Compute Axis Tickmark Locations


Compute pretty tickmark locations, the same way as R does internally. This is only non-trivial when log coordinates are active. By default, gives the at values which axis(side) would use.


axTicks(side, axp = NULL, usr = NULL, log = NULL, nintLog = NULL)



integer in 1:4, as for axis.


numeric vector of length three, defaulting to par("xaxp") or par("yaxp") depending on the side argument (par("xaxp") if side is 1 or 3, par("yaxp") if side is 2 or 4).


numeric vector of length two giving user coordinate limits, defaulting to the relevant portion of par("usr") (par("usr")[1:2] or par("usr")[3:4] for side in (1,3) or (2,4) respectively).


logical indicating if log coordinates are active; defaults to par("xlog") or par("ylog") depending on side.


(only used when log is true): approximate (lower bound for the) number of tick intervals; defaults to par("lab")[j] where j is 1 or 2 depending on side. Set this to Inf if you want the same behavior as in earlier R versions (than 2.14.x).


numeric vector of coordinate values at which axis tickmarks can be drawn. By default, when only the first argument is specified, these values should be identical to those that axis(side) would use or has used. Note that the values are decreasing when usr is (“reverse axis” case).


The axp, usr, and log arguments must be consistent as their default values (the par(..) results) are. If you specify all three (as non-NULL), the graphics environment is not used at all. Note that the meaning of axp differs significantly when log is TRUE; see the documentation on par(xaxp = .).

axTicks() may be seen as an R implementation of the C function CreateAtVector() in ..../src/main/plot.c which is called by axis(side, *) when no argument at is specified or directly by axisTicks() (in package grDevices).

The delicate case, log = TRUE, now makes use of axisTicks unless nintLog = Inf which exists for back compatibility.

See Also

axis, par. pretty uses the same algorithm (but independently of the graphics environment) and has more options. However it is not available for log = TRUE.

axisTicks() (package grDevices).


Run this code
 plot(1:7, 10*21:27)
 stopifnot(identical(axTicks(1), axTicks(3)),
           identical(axTicks(2), axTicks(4)))

## Show how axTicks() and axis() correspond :
op <- par(mfrow = c(3, 1))
for(x in 9999 * c(1, 2, 8)) {
    plot(x, 9, log = "x")
    cat(formatC(par("xaxp"), width = 5),";", T <- axTicks(1),"\n")
    rug(T, col =  adjustcolor("red", 0.5), lwd = 4)

x <- 9.9*10^(-3:10)
plot(x, 1:14, log = "x")
axTicks(1) # now length 5, in R <= 2.13.x gave the following
axTicks(1, nintLog = Inf) # rather too many

## An example using axTicks() without reference to an existing plot
## (copying R's internal procedures for setting axis ranges etc.),
## You do need to supply _all_ of axp, usr, log, nintLog
## standard logarithmic y axis labels
ylims <- c(0.2, 88)
get_axp <- function(x) 10^c(ceiling(x[1]), floor(x[2]))
## mimic par("yaxs") == "i"
usr.i <- log10(ylims)
(aT.i <- axTicks(side = 2, usr = usr.i,
                 axp = c(get_axp(usr.i), n = 3), log = TRUE, nintLog = 5))
## mimic (default) par("yaxs") == "r"
usr.r <- extendrange(r = log10(ylims), f = 0.04)
(aT.r <- axTicks(side = 2, usr = usr.r,
                 axp = c(get_axp(usr.r), 3), log = TRUE, nintLog = 5))

## Prove that we got it right :
plot(0:1, ylims, log = "y", yaxs = "i")
stopifnot(all.equal(aT.i, axTicks(side = 2)))

plot(0:1, ylims, log = "y", yaxs = "r")
stopifnot(all.equal(aT.r, axTicks(side = 2)))
# }

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