Fix Python – Moving x-axis to the top of a plot in matplotlib

Question

Asked By – Jason Sundram

Based on this question about heatmaps in matplotlib, I wanted to move the x-axis titles to the top of the plot.

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
column_labels = list('ABCD')
row_labels = list('WXYZ')
data = np.random.rand(4,4)
fig, ax = plt.subplots()
heatmap = ax.pcolor(data, cmap=plt.cm.Blues)

# put the major ticks at the middle of each cell
ax.set_xticks(np.arange(data.shape[0])+0.5, minor=False)
ax.set_yticks(np.arange(data.shape[1])+0.5, minor=False)

# want a more natural, table-like display
ax.invert_yaxis()
ax.xaxis.set_label_position('top') # <-- This doesn't work!

ax.set_xticklabels(row_labels, minor=False)
ax.set_yticklabels(column_labels, minor=False)
plt.show()

However, calling matplotlib’s set_label_position (as notated above) doesn’t seem to have the desired effect. Here’s my output:

enter image description here

What am I doing wrong?

Now we will see solution for issue: Moving x-axis to the top of a plot in matplotlib


Answer

Use

ax.xaxis.tick_top()

to place the tick marks at the top of the image. The command

ax.set_xlabel('X LABEL')    
ax.xaxis.set_label_position('top') 

affects the label, not the tick marks.

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
column_labels = list('ABCD')
row_labels = list('WXYZ')
data = np.random.rand(4, 4)
fig, ax = plt.subplots()
heatmap = ax.pcolor(data, cmap=plt.cm.Blues)

# put the major ticks at the middle of each cell
ax.set_xticks(np.arange(data.shape[1]) + 0.5, minor=False)
ax.set_yticks(np.arange(data.shape[0]) + 0.5, minor=False)

# want a more natural, table-like display
ax.invert_yaxis()
ax.xaxis.tick_top()

ax.set_xticklabels(column_labels, minor=False)
ax.set_yticklabels(row_labels, minor=False)
plt.show()

enter image description here

This question is answered By – unutbu

This answer is collected from stackoverflow and reviewed by FixPython community admins, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0