# PGFPlots: Logarithmic axes and scaling

I'm trying to plot some data where the X axis is logarithmic. The data runs from ~30 microseconds up to 10 milliseconds. It looks much cleaner to have the x-ticks looking like

{0.1 ms, 1 ms, 10 ms}


than

{10^-4 s, 10^-3 s, 10^-2 s}.


In other words, I would like my tick labels to be presented in fixed point (i.e., not as exponentials), and scaled (multiplied by 1000).

To achieve this effect, I've tried using

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{semilogxaxis}
[xmin=1e-6, xmax=1e-3, domain=1e-6:1e-3,
scaled x ticks=real:1e-3,
xtick scale label code/.code={},
log ticks with fixed point]
\end{semilogxaxis}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


but logarithmic axes seem to ignore the "scaled x ticks" instructions. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

• Welcome to TeX.SE! Please add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document} – percusse Apr 9 '13 at 20:50

It appears as if you want to rescale the x coordinates without extracting some common factor. The scaled x ticks feature has the main use case of generating a common tick factor which is placed into some node... and, in fact, pgfplots has no builtin support for scaled ticks and log axes as it is typically no use-case.

However, rescaling the x coordinates is a use-case, and it is quite simple to implement by means of x filter:

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{pgfplots}

\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{axis}[
xmode=log,
log ticks with fixed point,
% for log axes, x filter operates on LOGS.
% and log(x * 1000) = log(x) + log(1000):
x filter/.code=\pgfmathparse{#1 + 6.90775527898214},
]
0.0001 10
0.001 20
0.01 15
};
\end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document} • The units library currently doesn't work properly with a logarithmic axis. In a linear axis, adding x unit=m, change x base=true, x SI prefix=milli, would scale all the ticks by a factor of 1000, but that doesn't work if you add xmode=log. – Jake Apr 14 '13 at 8:02
• Thanks for the answer Christian, and also thanks for providing PGFPlots and maintaining it! Producing pretty plots is now one thing less that I need to worry about in my PhD! – sircolinton Apr 15 '13 at 11:19
• Although, when I try to compile the above example with LaTeX, I get the error: "! Illegal unit of measure (pt inserted)." Using pgfplots 1.8 and TeX Live 2012 on Gentoo Linux. – sircolinton Apr 15 '13 at 11:59

The problem isn't with the logarithmic axis per se, but with the log ticks with fixed point style, which ignores the scaled x ticks option.

Here's a slightly modified version that checks whether the scaling is active and applies it to the fixed point tick labels. There is a drawback, though: This won't work if you're using a logarithmic y axis with a different scaling. I think it would be good if you could open a bug report for this.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\usepgfplotslibrary{units}

\makeatletter
\pgfplotsset{
/pgfplots/log ticks with fixed point/.style={
/pgfplots/log number format basis/.code 2 args={
\begingroup
\edef\pgfplots@exponent{##2}%
\pgfkeysalso{/pgf/fpu}%
% configure the style to avoid crap like
% 10,000.2  or 0.000999937 :
\pgfqkeys{/pgf/number format}{%
fixed relative,
precision=3,
}%
\ifdim##1pt=10pt
\def\pgfplots@baselog{2.30258509299405}%
\else
\pgfmathparse{ln(##1)}%
\let\pgfplots@baselog=\pgfmathresult
\fi
\ifdefined\pgfplots@scaled@ticks@x@arg\pgfmathfloatparsenumber{\pgfplots@scaled@ticks@x@arg}\else\def\pgfmathresult{1}\fi%
\pgfmathparse{\pgfmathresult*exp(\pgfplots@exponent*\pgfplots@baselog)}%
\pgfmathprintnumber[#1]\pgfmathresult
\endgroup
},
}
}
\makeatother

\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{axis}[
xmode=log,
log ticks with fixed point,
scaled x ticks=real:1e3
] 