[R] Ticks and labels on plots

Mike Prager mike.prager at noaa.gov
Thu Mar 22 19:00:31 CET 2007

Martin Maechler <maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch> wrote:

> [...] there's one important thing which I think hasn't
> been mentioned yet.
> We have now been talking how and where axis() {i.e. its internal
> code} chooses to place tick marks.
> The clue is that it draws labels at all tick marks by default or
> explicitly with axis(*, at= ., labels = .)
> BUT the labels are not shown on your plot as soon as they
> would get too much crammed together.

Yes, Martin, precisely that distinction made my problem a bit
more than trivial.  It's easy to find the location of *ticks*,
but not of *tick labels*, and in barplot() that is an especially
important distinction, since a tick is placed at every bar.

I just posted a solution that solves the problem for the range
of sizes that we expect to encounter. It gives much nicer
looking results in such cases than a solution without the extra


Mike Prager, NOAA, Beaufort, NC
* Opinions expressed are personal and not represented otherwise.
* Any use of tradenames does not constitute a NOAA endorsement.

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