The matplotlib module in Python is used to create highly customizable plots. The module comes with a lot of built-in methods to help you customize your plots. In this tutorial, we will look at how to reverse the axes of a plot in matplotlib with the help of some examples.

## Invert the axes in Maplotlib

You can reverse the axis of a matplotlib plot in the following ways –

- Use the matplotlib axes object’s
`invert_axis()`

and`invert_yaxis()`

functions to reverse the x-axis and the y-axis respectively. Use`plt.gca()`

to get the current axes instance. - Set the axis ranges in the opposite direction, that is, from the max value to the min value using the
`matplotlib.pyplot.xlim()`

and the`matplotlib.pyplot.ylim()`

functions.

Let’s now look at some examples of using the above methods.

First, let’s create a scatter plot that we will be using throughout this tutorial.

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.xlabel('Year') plt.ylabel('1USD in INR') # add plot title plt.title("Original Plot")

Output:

### Example 1 – Using the `invert_xaxis()`

and the `invert_yaxis()`

functions

Let’s plot the above scatter plot but reverse its x-axis.

# plot x and y on scatter plot plt.scatter(x, y) # add axes labels plt.xlabel('Year') plt.ylabel('1USD in INR') # reverse the x-axis plt.gca().invert_xaxis() # add plot title plt.title("X-axis inverted")

Output:

Here, we use `plt.gca()`

to get the current axes instance and then apply the axes `invert_xaxis()`

function to reverse the x-axis in the plot.

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Let’s now invert the y-axis of the original scatter plot.

# plot x and y on scatter plot plt.scatter(x, y) # add axes labels plt.xlabel('Year') plt.ylabel('1USD in INR') # reverse the y-axis plt.gca().invert_yaxis() # add plot title plt.title("Y-axis inverted")

Output:

You can see that the y-axis is reversed in the above plot.

Note that you can reverse both the x-axis and the y-axis together.

### Example 2 – Reverse axes by changing the range

In this method, we reverse the axes by specifying their range to go from max to min (instead of the usual min to max value) using the `matplotlib.pyplot.xlim()`

and the `matplotlib.pyplot.ylim()`

functions.

Let’s take the same use cases as above. First, let’s invert the x-axis.

# plot x and y on scatter plot plt.scatter(x, y) # add axes labels plt.xlabel('Year') plt.ylabel('1USD in INR') # reverse the x-axis plt.xlim((max(x), min(x))) # add plot title plt.title("X-axis inverted")

Output:

You can see that the x-axis values are now reversed.

You can similarly reverse the y-axis by changing the y-axis range from max to min.

# plot x and y on scatter plot plt.scatter(x, y) # add axes labels plt.xlabel('Year') plt.ylabel('1USD in INR') # reverse the y-axis plt.ylim((max(y), min(y))) # add plot title plt.title("Y-axis inverted")

Output:

The y-axis values are now reversed.

Again, you may reverse both axes depending on your use case.

You might also be interested in –

- Add Trendline to a Maplotlib Plot with Code and Output
- How to Add Title to a Plot in Matplotlib? (Code Examples with Output)
- Set Axis Range (axis limits) in Matplotlib Plots
- Show Gridlines on Matplotlib Plots
- How to Label Points on a Scatter Plot in Matplotlib?

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