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Get Axis Range in Matplotlib Plots

The matplotlib library in Python comes with a number of useful functions and customizations that help you modify your plot to a great extent. In this tutorial, we will look at how to get the axis range of a matplotlib plot with the help of some examples.

Get Axis Limits using xlim() and ylim()

You can use the maplotlib.pyplot‘s xlim() and ylim() functions to get the axis ranges for the x-axis and the y-axis respectively. These functions are used to set the axis range (axis limits) by passing the range as a tuple but if you do not pass anything, it returns the current axis limits.

The following is the syntax –

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# create a plot - for example, a scatter plot
plt.scatter(x, y)

# get the x-axis limits

# get the y-axis limits

Let’s now look at some examples of using the above syntax. For this, we will be using the US dollar to Indian rupee conversion data from 2011 to 2020. Let’s plot the data as a scatter plot.

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# x values - years
x = [2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020]
# y values - 1 USD in INR
y = [46.67, 53.44, 56.57, 62.33, 62.97, 66.46, 67.79, 70.09, 70.39, 76.38]

# plot x and y on scatter plot
plt.scatter(x, y)

# add axes labels
plt.ylabel('1USD in INR')


the resulting scatter plot

Example 1 – Get the x-axis range with xlim()

Let’s get the range of values in the x-axis.

# plot x and y on scatter plot
plt.scatter(x, y)

# get the x-axis range


x-axis range output along with the scatter plot

Example 2 – Get the y-axis range with ylim()

You can similarly get the y-axis limits using the ylim() function on the matplotlib pyplot object plt without any arguments.

# plot x and y on scatter plot
plt.scatter(x, y)

# get the y-axis range


y-axis range output along with the scatter plot

We get the y-axis range as (45.1845, 77.8655).

Note that if you’re working with multiple subplots you can use the get_xlim() and get_ylim() functions on the individual axes objects (for example ax1) to get the axis limits for each subplot.

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  • Piyush

    Piyush is a data scientist passionate about using data to understand things better and make informed decisions. In the past, he's worked as a Data Scientist for ZS and holds an engineering degree from IIT Roorkee. His hobbies include watching cricket, reading, and working on side projects.