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Different rotations of XLabels

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Julie Møller
Julie Møller on 21 May 2021
Commented: Julie Møller on 24 May 2021
How can I have the first six XLabels having a rotation of 0 while the last two XLabels get a rotation of 90? Otherwise the last XLabels are not readable.
I have tried splitting the x axis into two lines on top of each other, however I can only find out to construct a two line x axis with labels at the same ticks and not six labels for the first six ticks and two labels for the last ticks.

Accepted Answer

Robert U
Robert U on 21 May 2021
Hi Julie,
One way to rotate single XTickLabel Strings is to replace them by text(). Advantage over annotation() is that the text is tied to the actual value of the axes.
fh = figure;
ah = axes(fh);
xData = [3:12];
yData = [1:10];
ah.XTickLabel = []';
labels = {'2019','2020','2021','2022','2023','2024','2025','2026','TRY','SRY'}';
rotLabels = [zeros(1,8),90,90];
offsetLabel = -0.5;
for ik = 1:length(ah.XTick)
text(ah,'String', labels{ik}, 'Position', [xData(ik) yData(1)+offsetLabel],'VerticalAlignment','middle','HorizontalAlignment','center','Rotation',rotLabels(ik));
Kind regards,
Adam Danz
Adam Danz on 22 May 2021
Here's a variation of Robert U's answer that has the following changes
  • Actual XTickLabels are used except for the final two labels. This is a bit more efficient and cleaner, letting the built-in axis properties do a lot of the work.
  • It's very important that the xlim and ylim are set and remain set when using text objects as tick labels. Text objects are in data units so if the axis limits change then the text labels will move with the data!
  • Text objects used as labels copy the axes' font properties. You can add linkprop if you think the axes font properties may change.
x = rand(20,30);
ax = gca();
ax.XTick = unique([1:5:size(x,2), size(x,2)-[1,0]]);
ax.XTickLabel = [string(2021:5:2046),"",""];
ax.XTickLabelRotation = 0;
xlim(xlim(ax)) % important (works better than setting X/YLimMode)
ylim(ylim(ax)) % important
t1 = text(ax.XTick(end-1), ...
min(ylim(ax))-range(ylim(ax))*.022, ... %shifted down a bit (2.2% of ylim range)
'HorizontalAlignment','Right', ...
'FontName', ax.FontName, ...
'FontSize', ax.FontSize);
text(ax.XTick(end), ...
t1.Position(2), ...
'HorizontalAlignment','Right', ...
'FontName', ax.FontName, ...
'FontSize', ax.FontSize)
Julie Møller
Julie Møller on 24 May 2021
Great, thank you very much, Adam, and also for the explanation!

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