Golden Software Blog

Helping you learn more about the latest product information, tips, tricks, techniques, and customer stories so you can visualize data and communicate results with ease.
Font size: +

Surfer 12 New Feature: Reverse X or Y Axis Direction

A great new feature in Surfer 12 is the ability to reverse the Axis direction of a grid-based map, without having to alter the grid file. In the past, you would need to re-grid your data with the reversed data orientation in order to reverse your axis direction. This was a time-consuming process, and did not easily produce the desired result.

Surfer 12now had the ability to reverse the X or Y Axis direction by simply checking a box in the scaling properties for any two-dimensional grid-based map, such as a contour map.

One application of this features would be to express depth as positive descending numbers when contouring a map in cross section view. Suppose that you had measurements along a horizontal plane (X axis) at a particular depth (Y axis) that represented the soil water chemical concentration profile at a number of sampling locations and depths. You can now do this by changing the vertical axis (Y axis) orientation for the contour map of the chemical concentration.

This theoretical scenario has applications for shallow groundwater remediation when in-situ technologies are used to treat contaminants. Being able to display a contour map of a cross section would help to assess the vertical as well as the lateral migration of a contaminant. This can now easily be done by reversing the depth (vertical) axis for a contour map in Surfer 12. 

RevereseAxis 3Soil Water Chemical Concentration Measurements (Distance, X vs. Depth, Y)

In Surfer 12, when you grid your data to create a contour map, by default the program will grid the data using the bottom left as the origin (0,0) of the coordinate system. You can now change this by reversing your axes to orient your data in more realistic way that suits your data distribution.

The option to reverse an axis in Surfer 12 can be found in the Property Manager | Scaling tab, by applying the Scaling | Axis Direction | Reverse Axis option.

ReverseAxis_CheckBox.pngProperty Manager | Scaling tab indicating the location of the Reverse axis option.

To reverse the axis direction, check the box next to Reverse axis. When the axis is normal (the Reverse axis box is unchecked), the axis minimum value is on the left side for an X axis and on the bottom for a Y axis. When reversed, the axis minimum is located on the right side for an X axis and the top for a Y axis. When one X axis is reversed (i.e. Bottom Axis), all X axes on the map are automatically reversed. When one Y axis is reversed (i.e. Right Axis), all Y axes on the map are automatically reversed.

When the Reverse axis option is applied, all map properties are reversed, including Post locations and Contours. This ensures that your post data and contour lines correctly display with standard or reversed axes. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_RevereseAxis_1.pngStandared Axis formatting

b2ap3_thumbnail_RevereseAxis_2.pngReversed Y Axis Orientation

The two example maps above display contours and post data from the same data and grid files. The map on the right has the Reverse axis option checked for the Left Axis. With this display, the contour map displays a vertical axis that increases from the top-down, making the interpretation of depth profile data much easier.  

Please note that in Surfer 12, the Z axes for 3D Wireframe, 3D Surface Maps, Profile axes, and Variogram axes cannot be reversed. 

This is just one of the many new features in Surfer 12! If you would like to check out Surfer 12’s other new features or test drive the demo, please visit the Surfer 12 website:

The cost of a new Surfer 12 license is $849, though you can upgrade from any previous version of Surfer for only $279. You can purchase the software using our secure online order form and select Download Delivery to receive download instructions within two business hours.

Once you have purchase and are using Surfer, Golden Software offers many resources to assist you in learning the program:

Tutorials: to access, click Help | Tutorials.

Support Central provides access to:

Training Videos
Surfer 12 Quick Start Guide
Online Forums
Knowledge Base



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Thursday, 08 June 2023

Captcha Image

Subscribe To Our Blog

Most Popular

Over the years, one of the most common questions asked is “How can I get my contour map out of Surfe...
Creating a map of slopes is common practice when looking at slope stability. Some examples of when y...
I'm pleased to introduce our first ever guest blogger, Scott Carter, Owner and Creative Director of ...

Exceeding expectations

Our customers

Go to top