# How to access displayed axis limits when scaling is logarithmic and data partly negative?

8 views (last 30 days)
Stephan Heise on 28 Mar 2012
Hi,
I plot data. Some of the data are quite noisy and occasionally negative values appear, but I'm not interested in them. I apply a logarithmic y-axis scaling. Matlab issues a warning, that 'Negative data are ignored'. I use axis tight which adjusts the axes limits so that the displayed data (i.e. only the positive data!) just fit into the axes.
Now here's my question: How can I access the displayed y-limits?
get(axes_handle, 'YLim') returns the limits of all the data (positive and negative), so that the upper limit matches the displayed upper limit but the lower limit (negative) does not!
Here's a small example:
figure;
data = [-1 10 100 1000];
plot(data);
set(gca,'YScale','log');
axis tight;
ylim
The displayed y-limits are [10 1000] but ylim returns [-1 1000].
Anyone know a solution?
Stephan.

Matt Tearle on 28 Mar 2012
A hack would be to use the YTick values instead, as there's always a tick at the top and the bottom by default.
yl = get(gca,'YTick');
yl = yl([1,end])
Stephan Heise on 30 Mar 2012
Good idea!
Thanks Matt.

C.J. Harris on 28 Mar 2012
After you set 'axis tight' call the following commmand:
set(gca, 'YLimMode', 'auto')
Then 'ylim' should return:
[10 1000]
Stephan Heise on 30 Mar 2012
Thanks for the hint, Chris. If |YLimMode| is |auto| , |ylim| is indeed returned correctly. A drawback of this workaround is that the axis may not be "tight" after setting |YLimMode| to |auto|.

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