axisTicks {grDevices}R Documentation

Compute Pretty Axis Tick Scales


Compute pretty axis scales and tick mark locations, the same way as traditional R graphics do it. This is interesting particularly for log scale axes.


axisTicks(usr, log, axp = NULL, nint = 5)
.axisPars(usr, log = FALSE,  nintLog = 5)



numeric vector of length 2, with c(min, max) axis extents.


logical indicating if a log scale is (thought to be) in use.


numeric vector of length 3, c(mi, ma, n.), with identical meaning to par("?axp") (where ? is x or y), namely “pretty” axis extents, and an integer code n..

nint, nintLog

positive integer value indicating (approximately) the desired number of intervals. nintLog is used only for the case log = TRUE.


axisTicks(usr, *) calls .axisPars(usr, ..) to set axp when that is missing or NULL.

Apart from that, axisTicks() just calls the C function CreateAtVector() in ‘<Rsrc>/src/main/plot.c’ which is also called by the base graphics package function axis(side, *) when its argument at is not specified.

Since R 4.1.0, the underlying C CreateAtVector() has been tuned to provide a considerably more balanced (symmetric) set of tick locations.


axisTicks() returns a numeric vector of potential axis tick locations, of length approximately nint+1.

.axisPars() returns a list with components


numeric vector of length 2, c(min., max.), of pretty axis extents.


integer (code), with the same meaning as par("?axp")[3].

See Also

axTicks, axis, and par all from the graphics package.


##--- Demonstrating correspondence between graphics'
##--- axis() and the graphics-engine agnostic  axisTicks() :

plot(10*(0:10)); (pu <- par("usr"))
aX <- function(side, at, ...)
    axis(side, at = at, labels = FALSE, lwd.ticks = 2, col.ticks = 2,
         tck = 0.05, ...)
aX(1, print(xa <- axisTicks(pu[1:2], log = FALSE)))  # x axis
aX(2, print(ya <- axisTicks(pu[3:4], log = FALSE)))  # y axis

axisTicks(pu[3:4], log = FALSE, nint = 10)

plot(10*(0:10), log = "y"); (pu <- par("usr"))
aX(2, print(ya <- axisTicks(pu[3:4], log = TRUE)))  # y axis

plot(2^(0:9), log = "y"); (pu <- par("usr"))
aX(2, print(ya <- axisTicks(pu[3:4], log = TRUE)))  # y axis

[Package grDevices version 4.1.0 Index]