Skip to main content

Create broken axes

Project description


brokenaxes logo. Reference:

brokenaxes makes matplotlib plots with breaks in the axes for showing data across a discontinuous range.



  • Break x and y axes.
  • Supports multiple breaks on a single axis.
  • Automatically scales axes according to relative ranges.
  • Plot multiple lines.
  • Legend with positioning relative to entire broken axes object
  • x and y label centered to entire plot
  • Make brokenaxes object a subplot itself with matplotlib.GridSpec.subplot_spec.
  • xlims and ylims may be datetime.datetime objects
  • Supports log scales.


I recommend the Anaconda python distribution and this package is availably via pypi:

pip install brokenaxes


import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from brokenaxes import brokenaxes
import numpy as np

fig = plt.figure(figsize=(5,2))
bax = brokenaxes(xlims=((0, .1), (.4, .7)), ylims=((-1, .7), (.79, 1)), hspace=.05)
x = np.linspace(0, 1, 100)
bax.plot(x, np.sin(10 * x), label='sin')
bax.plot(x, np.cos(10 * x), label='cos')


Create subplots

from brokenaxes import brokenaxes
from matplotlib.gridspec import GridSpec
import numpy as np

sps1, sps2 = GridSpec(2,1)

bax = brokenaxes(xlims=((.1, .3),(.7, .8)), subplot_spec=sps1)
x = np.linspace(0, 1, 100)
bax.plot(x, np.sin(x*30), ls=':', color='m')

x = np.random.poisson(3, 1000)
bax = brokenaxes(xlims=((0, 2.5), (3, 6)), subplot_spec=sps2)
bax.hist(x, histtype='bar')


Log scales

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from brokenaxes import brokenaxes
import numpy as np

fig = plt.figure(figsize=(5,5))
bax = brokenaxes(xlims=((1, 500), (600, 10000)),
	     ylims=((1, 500), (600, 10000)),
		 hspace=.15, xscale='log', yscale='log')

x = np.logspace(0.0, 4, 100)
bax.loglog(x, x, label='$y=x=10^{0}$ to $10^{4}$')

bax.grid(axis='both', which='major', ls='-')
bax.grid(axis='both', which='minor', ls='--', alpha=0.4)



If you make a plot that you are proud of with this tool, send me a png and code and I'll add it to the gallery!

Life advice

Please use this tool wisely. Any data visualization techique can be used to elucidate trends in the data, and can be used to manipulate and mislead. The latter is particularly true for broken axes plots, so please try to use them responsibly. Other than that, this software is free to use for any purpose.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for brokenaxes, version 0.4.2
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size brokenaxes-0.4.2-py2.py3-none-any.whl (6.7 kB) File type Wheel Python version py2.py3 Upload date Hashes View
Filename, size brokenaxes-0.4.2.tar.gz (6.1 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Sentry Sentry Error logging AWS AWS Cloud computing DataDog DataDog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page