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How to Rotate X-Axis Tick Label Text in Matplotlib?
  • Last Updated : 24 Jan, 2021

Matplotlib is an amazing and one of the most widely used data visualization library in Python for plots of arrays. It is a multi-platform data visualization library built on NumPy arrays and designed to work with the broader SciPy stack. It is much popular because of its customization options as we can tweak about any element from its hierarchy of objects.

Rotating X-axis labels

To rotate X-axis labels, there are various methods provided by matplotlib i.e. change it on the Figure-level or by changing it on an Axes-level or individually by using built-in functions. Some methods are listed below :

Let’s create a simple line plot which we will modify in the further examples:

Python3

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# Import libraries
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
  
# Creating dataset
x = np.arange(0, np.pi*2, 0.05)
y = np.sin(x**2)
  
# Creating plot
plt.plot(x, y)
  
# Setting title
plt.title('Simple Example')
  
# Show plot
plt.show()

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Output :



Example 1: In this example, we will rotate X-axis labels on Figure-level using plt.xticks().

Syntax: matplotlib.pyplot.xticks(ticks=None, labels=None, **kwargs)

Parameters: This method accept the following parameters that are described below:

  • ticks: This parameter is the list of xtick locations. and an optional parameter. If an empty list is passed as an argument then it will removes all xticks
  • labels: This parameter contains labels to place at the given ticks locations. And it is an optional parameter.
  • **kwargs: This parameter is Text properties that is used to control the appearance of the labels.

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# Import libraries
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
  
# Creating dataset
x = np.arange(0, np.pi*2, 0.05)
y = np.sin(x**2)
  
# Creating plot
plt.plot(x, y)
  
# Rotating X-axis labels
plt.xticks(rotation = 25)
  
# Setting title
plt.title('Rotating using plt.xticks()')
  
# Show plot
plt.show()

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Output :

Example 2: In this example, we will rotate X-axis labels on Axes-level using tick.set_rotation().

Syntax: Axes.get_xticks(self, minor=False)

Parameters: This method accepts the following parameters.

  • minor : This parameter is used whether set major ticks or to set minor ticks

Return value: This method returns a list of Text values.

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# Import libraries
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
  
# Creating dataset
x = np.arange(0, np.pi*2, 0.05)
y = np.sin(x**2)
  
# Creating Figure
fig, ax = plt.subplots() 
  
# Creating plot
ax.plot(x, y)
  
# Rotating X-axis labels
ax.set_xticklabels(ax.get_xticks(), rotation = 50)
  
# Setting title
plt.title('Rotating using tick.set_rotation()')
  
# Show plot
plt.show()

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Output :

Example 3: In this example, we will rotate X-axis labels individually by using built-in ax.set_xticklabels() function.



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# Import libraries
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
  
# Creating dataset
x = np.arange(0, np.pi*2, 0.05)
y = np.sin(x**2)
  
# Creating Figure
fig, ax = plt.subplots() 
  
# Creating plot
ax.plot(x, y)
  
# Rotating X-axis labels
for tick in ax.get_xticklabels():
    tick.set_rotation(75)
  
# Setting title
plt.title('Rotating using ax.set_xticklabels()')
  
# Show plot
plt.show()

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Output :

Example 4: In this example, we will rotate X-axis labels individually by using built-in ax.xtick_params() function.

Syntax: matplotlib.pyplot.tick_params(axis=’both’, **kwargs)

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# Import libraries
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
  
# Creating dataset
x = np.arange(0, np.pi*2, 0.05)
y = np.sin(x**2)
  
# Creating Figure
fig, ax = plt.subplots() 
  
# Creating plot
ax.plot(x, y)
  
# Rotating X-axis labels
ax.tick_params(axis='x', labelrotation = 100)
  
# Setting title
plt.title('Rotating using ax.xtick_params()')
  
# Show plot
plt.show()

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Output :


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