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A.4.12.3 Time Axes Control

Note: the Time Plot has multiple plot Zones, and the axes are configured individually for each zone.

The Axes () control for the time plot window has the following tabs:

Coords tab of time Axes control

Coords tab of time Axes control

The Coords tab controls the vertical axis coordinates (you can't flip or rescale the time axis). It has the following options:

Y Log
If selected, vertical axis coordinates are logarithmic, otherwise they are linear.
Y Flip
If selected, vertical axis coordinate axes increase down rather than up.

Navigation tab of time Axes control

Navigation tab of time Axes control

The Navigation tab controls details of how the navigation works. It has the following options:

Pan/Zoom Axes
By default, dragging with the mouse or using the mouse wheel on the body of the plot will pan or zoom in the horizontal (time) direction only, which is usually what you want for a time series. Using this control you can make it work in the vertical direction as well.
Zoom Factor
Controls the factor by which each zoom action zooms the plot. Moving this slider to the left/right makes the mouse more/less sensitive (one wheel click or dragging a fixed distance has more/less zoom effect).

Range tab of time Axes control

Range tab of time Axes control

The Range tab provides manual configuration of the visible range of the plot. Making changes to this tab will reset the visible plot range, but not vice versa - zooming and panning in the usual way will not change the settings of this panel.

Filling in the Minimum/Maximum fields for either or both axes will constrain the corresponding range of the visible data. The limits corresponding to any of those fields that are left blank will initially be worked out from the data. The Subrange double-sliders restrict the ranges within the (explicit or automatic) min/max ranges. Note you can move both sliders at once by grabbing a position between the two. For the time axis, the range may be entered as an ISO-8601 date/time value.

The Clear button resets all the fields. The Submit button updates the plot with the current values in this tab, as does making any changes to it.

Grid tab of time Axes control

Grid tab of time Axes control

The Grid tab configures the appearance of the axis grid. It has the following options:

Time Format
Selects the representation for time/date in which the horizontal axis is labelled. Options are ISO-8601, decimal year, Modified Julian Day, and Unix (seconds since midnight on 1 Jan 1970).
Draw Grid
If true, grid lines will be drawn across the plot for every tick mark.
Minor Ticks
If set, minor (unlabelled) tick marks will be drawn between the major (labelled) ones.
Time/Y Tick Crowding
Use the slider to influence how many tick marks are drawn on each axis.

Labels tab of time Axes control

Labels tab of time Axes control

The Labels tab controls the text label on the Y axis (the horizontal axis is not labelled). If the Auto checkbox is set, the text will be taken from one of the data coordinates being plotted on that axis. To override that with your own axis label, unset Auto and type text in to the Y Label field.

Font tab

Font tab

The Font tab configures the font used for axis annotation. It also affects some other things like the legend.

Text Syntax
How to turn the text into characters on the screen. Plain and Antialias both take the text at face value, but Antialias smooths the characters. Antialiased text usually looks nicer, but can be perceptibly slower to plot. At time of writing, on MacOS antialiased text seems to be required to stop the writing coming out upside-down for non-horizontal text. LaTeX interprets the text as LaTeX source code and typesets it accordingly.
Font Size
Size of the font in points.
Font Style
Style of the font.
Font Weight
Whether the font is plain, bold or italic.


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TOPCAT - Tool for OPerations on Catalogues And Tables
Starlink User Note253
TOPCAT web page: http://www.starlink.ac.uk/topcat/
Author email: m.b.taylor@bristol.ac.uk
Mailing list: topcat-user@jiscmail.ac.uk