Show decimal places and scientific notation on the axis of a Matplotlib plot

To show decimal places and scientific notation on the axis of a matplotlib, we can use scalar formatter by overriding _set_format() method.


  • Create x and y data points using numpy.

  • Plot x and y using plot() method.

  • Using gca() method, get the current axis.

  • Instantiate the format tick values as a number class, i.e., ScalarFormatter.

  • Set size thresholds for scientific notation, using set_powerlimits((0, 0)) method.

  • Using set_major_formatter() method, set the formatter of the major ticker.

  • To display the figure, use show() method.


import numpy as np
from matplotlib.ticker import ScalarFormatter
from matplotlib import pyplot as plt
plt.rcParams["figure.figsize"] = [7.00, 3.50]
plt.rcParams["figure.autolayout"] = True

class ScalarFormatterClass(ScalarFormatter):
   def _set_format(self):
      self.format = "%1.2f"

x = np.linspace(1, 10)
y = np.linspace(2,10)
y = x * y
plt.plot(x, y)
ax = plt.gca()
yScalarFormatter = ScalarFormatterClass(useMathText=True)


Updated on: 08-May-2021

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