axis.POSIXct: Date and Date-time Plotting Functions

axis.POSIXctR Documentation

Date and Date-time Plotting Functions


Functions to plot objects of classes "POSIXlt", "POSIXct" and "Date" representing calendar dates and times.


axis.POSIXct(side, x, at, format, labels = TRUE, ...)
axis.Date(side, x, at, format, labels = TRUE, ...)


x, at

A date-time or date object.


See axis.


See strptime.


Either a logical value specifying whether annotations are to be made at the tickmarks, or a vector of character strings to be placed at the tickpoints.


Further arguments to be passed from or to other methods, typically graphical parameters.


axis.POSIXct and axis.Date work quite hard to choose suitable time units (years, months, days, hours, minutes or seconds) and a sensible output format, but this can be overridden by supplying a format specification.

If at is supplied it specifies the locations of the ticks and labels whereas if x is specified a suitable grid of labels is chosen. Printing of tick labels can be suppressed by using labels = FALSE.

The date-times for a "POSIXct" input are interpreted in the time zone give by the "tzone" attribute if there is one, otherwise the current time zone.

The way the date-times are rendered (especially month names) is controlled by the locale setting of category "LC_TIME" (see Sys.setlocale).


The locations on the axis scale at which tick marks were drawn.

See Also

DateTimeClasses, Dates for details of the classes.



with(beaver1, {
time <- strptime(paste(1990, day, time %/% 100, time %% 100),
                 "%Y %j %H %M")
plot(time, temp, type = "l") # axis at 4-hour intervals.
# now label every hour on the time axis
plot(time, temp, type = "l", xaxt = "n")
r <- as.POSIXct(round(range(time), "hours"))
axis.POSIXct(1, at = seq(r[1], r[2], by = "hour"), format = "%H")

plot(.leap.seconds, seq_along(.leap.seconds), type = "n", yaxt = "n",
     xlab = "leap seconds", ylab = "", bty = "n")
## or as dates
lps <- as.Date(.leap.seconds)
plot(lps, seq_along(.leap.seconds),
     type = "n", yaxt = "n", xlab = "leap seconds",
     ylab = "", bty = "n")

## 100 random dates in a 10-week period
random.dates <- as.Date("2001/1/1") + 70*sort(stats::runif(100))
plot(random.dates, 1:100)
# or for a better axis labelling
plot(random.dates, 1:100, xaxt = "n")
axis.Date(1, at = seq(as.Date("2001/1/1"), max(random.dates)+6, "weeks"))
axis.Date(1, at = seq(as.Date("2001/1/1"), max(random.dates)+6, "days"),
     labels = FALSE, tcl = -0.2)