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Creating Custom Text Labels for Your Contour Plot Axes

Ever wanted to label your plot as discrete cells with text names rather than continuous x,y values? In some cases you may want grid labels along your axes, so you can specify data that's in square B5 or E2. The data could have been gridded using x and y locations (as shown below), but you want to show a grid for the axis labels.

Surfer 10 Plot with Default Axes

  To label the bottom axis on a map with letters in Surfer 10, follow these steps:  

  1. Select the Bottom Axis in the Object Manager for the map.
  2. In the Property Manager, on the General tab uncheck the Show checkbox.
  3. On the Ticks tab set the Major Ticks and Minor Ticks styles both to None.
  4. Select the Map in the Object Manager, and in the Property Manager, on the Limits tab, note the Y minimum value for the map.
  5. Open the Surfer worksheet, or an Excel worksheet, and create a data file with 3 columns of data for all the tick marks and labels you would like to see on the axis: a) X (x-value midway between each pair of tickmarks); b) Y (minimum Y value of map), this will all be the same Y value for all points; c) label (A-H) corresponding to the x-value on the same row.
  6. Select the map and go to Map | Add | Post Layer, select the data file and click Open. If you are asked if you want to adjust the map limits, click No.
  7. Select the post map and in the Property Manager, make sure the post map uses the first two columns of data for the X and Y columns and uses the "+" symbol.
  8. Go to the Labels tab and set the label column to be the column containing the label data, and choose to position the labels below the symbol.
  9. If you want to make adjustments to the date labels, select the post map, and in the Property Manager go to the Labels tab, and make font adjustments or placement changes here.

  Repeat this process for the left axis, using X minimum for step 5a, Y for step 5b, and numbers instead of letters for step 5c. Turning on the axes gridlines you get the following masterpiece. Now you can brag to your friends about the anomaly you found in grid cell E4!  

Plot with Modified Axes

   

 

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Monday, 20 February 2017

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