I would like to have the following modifications to the scatter plot.

The title should be typeset on two lines.

I would like a break on each axis indicating a skip from 0. (When I was in junior high school, we used two 'parallel" wavy lines.)

0 should be put in the lower left corner of the plot.

Remove the comma in the years.

I also have some question. Why is the plot drawn in blue? What is the diameter of each dot? How would I make the line connecting the dots to be dashed and drawn in a different shade of blue?





\begin{axis}[grid=major, title=\textbf{Population of Pittsford in \boldmath$19^{\mathrm{th}}$ Century\unboldmath},
    ylabel = Population (in thousands),
    xlabel = Year,

\addplot plot coordinates{(1800,1.1) (1810,1) (1820,0.9) (1830,1.2) (1840,1.5) (1850,1.5) (1860,1.5) (1870,1.7) (1880,1.75) (1890,1.75) (1900,1.9)};
\coordinate (Bottom Left) at (axis cs:1800,0);
\coordinate (Bottom Right) at ($(Bottom Left) + (axis direction cs:100,0)$);
\draw (Bottom Left) -- (Bottom Right);
\coordinate (Top Left) at ($(Bottom Left) + (axis direction cs:0,0.1)$);
\coordinate (Top Right) at ($(Top Left) + (axis direction cs:20,0)$);
\draw[red,thick] (Top Left) -- (Top Right);




First of, I think you should go with percusse's solution. But as per your explicit request, here you go:

  1. I have no clue how to redefine the axis x discontinuity and axis y discontinuity to use smaller lines or to use them only left and bottom (instead of right and top too). So that's why I don't use them at all.
  2. You don't need tick marks as you already have the grid=major. So I added ytick style = {draw=none}, xtick style = {draw=none} to get rid of them.
  3. As to the rotations of your labels: you don't need a tick label style = {} inside another tick label style = {}. Just go for yticklabel style = {font=\tiny, fill=white, rotate=0}, xticklabel style = {font=\tiny, fill=white, rotate=-45}
  4. So now for the discontinuities: I put them on top of your plot as extra ticks That's certainly a bad way to do it, but it makes it look the way you want it to look. Also it involves a lot of trial and error to find the "right" values for xshift and yshift:




        \begin{axis}[   grid                = major,
                        /pgf/number format/1000 sep = {},
                        title               = Population of Pittsford in \\ 19\textsuperscript{th} Century,
                        title style         = {align=center,font=\bfseries},
                        ylabel              = Population (in thousands),
                        xlabel              = Year,
                        xmin                = 1790,
                        xmax                = 1900,
                        xtick               = {1800,1810,...,1900},
                        ytick style         = {draw=none},
                        xtick style         = {draw=none},
                        yticklabel style    = {font=\tiny, fill=white},
                        xticklabel style    = {font=\tiny, fill=white, rotate=-45},
                        ymin                = 0.6,
                        ymax                = 2, 
                        ytick               = {0.8, 1, ..., 2},
                        extra x ticks       = {1792},
                        extra x tick style  = {grid=none, xticklabel style={yshift=1.3mm, rotate=45, inner sep=.5pt}},
                        extra x tick labels = {\discon},
                        extra y ticks       = {0.7},
                        extra y tick style  = {grid=none, yticklabel style={xshift=1.1mm, rotate=90, inner sep=.5pt}},
                        extra y tick labels = {\discon}]
            \addplot plot coordinates{(1800,1.1) (1810,1) (1820,0.9) (1830,1.2) (1840,1.5) (1850,1.5) (1860,1.5) (1870,1.7) (1880,1.75) (1890,1.75) (1900,1.9)};

enter image description here

EDIT: answers to comments:

  1. \def\discon{$\wr\!\!\!\wr$}: This defines a new command \discon which I use as the symbol for discontinuities. It is build by using two \wr (in mathmode). The \! (negative thin space (normally −1/6 of a quad)) takes care of the spacing between those two \wr.
  2. About the rotation: I don't know why the rotation happens the way it happens when you put tick label style inside a tick label style. But it's bad syntax, so just use the right syntax and put the rotate inside 1 tick label style instead of in 2.
  • This looks how I wanted it. – user74973 Jun 3 '15 at 15:50
  • Please explain the syntax of \def\discon{$\wr\!\!\!\wr$},. – user74973 Jun 3 '15 at 15:50
  • Why does tick label style={rotate=-45} within xticklabel style= rotate by 45 degrees the labels on the y-axis? I have tick label style={rotate=0} within yticklabel style=. – user74973 Jun 3 '15 at 15:50
  • 1
    \wr is a "vertical tilde". \!is negative (horizontal) space. The dollar signs make everything math mode. This needs to be mathmode because \wr only works in mathmode. So it is a vertical tilde followed by some negative space (so we are now slightly in front of that vertical tilde) followed by a second tilde. – Maarten Dhondt Jun 3 '15 at 17:20
  • 1
    No, the rotate=-45 is something you put in there to rotate your x labels. So i used the rotate=45 to counteract your -45. – Maarten Dhondt Jun 3 '15 at 19:23

The y axis doesn't need any discontinuity as it is near to zero already. Also discontinuity on both axes shows that origin is not relevant anyways.

\begin{tikzpicture}[/pgf/number format/1000 sep={}]
\begin{axis}[axis y line=left,axis x line=bottom,width=10cm,height=5cm,
    title=Population of Pittsford in\\ 19\textsuperscript{th} Century,
    title style={align=center,font=\bfseries},
    ylabel = Population (in thousands),
    xlabel = Year,
    axis x discontinuity=parallel,

\addplot+[draw=blue!50,mark size=1pt] plot coordinates{
(1800,1.1) (1810,1) (1820,0.9) (1830,1.2) 
(1840,1.5) (1850,1.5) (1860,1.5) (1870,1.7) 
(1880,1.75) (1890,1.75) (1900,1.9)};

enter image description here

  • I originally had title=\textbf{Population of Pittsford \\ in \boldmath$19^{\mathrm{th}}$ Century\unboldmath} with the "\\". I guess that \textbf{} obscured the "\\". I see that I can get the title in bold with the command title style={align=center,font=\bfseries}, and just have the title immediately following title=. – user74973 May 30 '15 at 20:40
  • I do want the break on the y-axis. The scatter plot is artificially elevated in your plot. I edited the axis environment to include xmin=1790, and xmax=1900, and xtick={1800,1810,...,1900}, and ymin=0.6, and ymax=2, and ytick={0.8, 1, ..., 2},. There are two mishaps with this, which I have not seen on any other scatter plot. First, the axis break symbol on the y-axis interferes with the axis break symbol on the x-axis. Can I make these parallel lines smaller? Second, the symbol for the breaks in the axes also occurs in my display on the top and right sides. – user74973 May 30 '15 at 20:43
  • Also, I include the option xticklabel style={font=\tiny,fill=white, tick label style={rotate=-45}}, so that all the years can be nicely fit along the x-axis. I don't want the numbers along the y-axis tilted. I have yticklabel style={font=\tiny,fill=white, tick label style={rotate=0}}, after the xticklabel command, and the rotation-command is ignored. – user74973 May 30 '15 at 20:44
  • @user74973 A discountinuity means that you are scaling the both axis and one side is too big to be shown completely. Here you don't have that problem hence it would be wrong if you put on the y axis because there is no gap. – percusse Jun 1 '15 at 16:42
  • In this case, having a break on the y-axis is unnecessary. I am anticipating a scatter plot in which I will need breaks on both axes. – user74973 Jun 1 '15 at 17:25

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