Home ยป How to Reverse Axes in Matplotlib (With Examples)

How to Reverse Axes in Matplotlib (With Examples)

by Tutor Aspire

You can use the following basic syntax to reverse the x-axis and y-axis in Matplotlib:

plt.gca().invert_xaxis()
plt.gca().invert_yaxis()

The following example shows how to use this syntax in practice.

Example: Reverse Axes in Matplotlib

The following code shows how to create a basic scatterplot in Matplotlib:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

#define x and y
x = [1, 4, 8, 11, 13, 14]
y = [5, 11, 18, 26, 25, 23]

#create scatterplot of x and y
plt.scatter(x, y)

We can use the following code to reverse the y-axis:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

#define x and y
x = [1, 4, 8, 11, 13, 14]
y = [5, 11, 18, 26, 25, 23]

#create scatterplot of x and y
plt.scatter(x, y)

#reverse y-axis
plt.gca().invert_yaxis()

Notice that the y-axis now ranges from 25 to 5 instead of 5 to 25.

Alternatively, we could use the following code to reverse the x-axis:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

#define x and y
x = [1, 4, 8, 11, 13, 14]
y = [5, 11, 18, 26, 25, 23]

#create scatterplot of x and y
plt.scatter(x, y)

#reverse x-axis
plt.gca().invert_xaxis()

Notice that the x-axis now ranges from 14 to 0 instead of 0 to 14.

Lastly, we could use the following code to reverse both axes:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

#define x and y
x = [1, 4, 8, 11, 13, 14]
y = [5, 11, 18, 26, 25, 23]

#create scatterplot of x and y
plt.scatter(x, y)

#reverse both axes
plt.gca().invert_xaxis()
plt.gca().invert_yaxis()

Notice that both axes values are reversed.

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common operations in Matplotlib:

How to Set Axis Ranges in Matplotlib
How to Set Axis Ticks in Matplotlib
How to Adjust Axis Label Position in Matplotlib

You may also like