Show or hide scale elements

Graph scale elements are axis lines, axis labels, tick marks, and tick labels. You can display these elements on the high side or the low side of the graph's data region.

For example, on the following time series plot, the continuous (y) scale displays tick labels with tick marks on the low side. The time (x) scale displays tick labels with tick marks on the low side. Axis lines are on all sides.

To specify which elements to include when you create a graph, click Time/Scale, then select the elements on the Axes and Ticks tab. To change or add the elements on an existing graph, double-click the scale, then select the elements on the Show tab.

Specify the time scale labels

A time scale represents chronological time in equally-spaced intervals. You can select the labels to use for the equally-spaced time units. To specify the labels to use when you create a graph, click Time/Scale, then specify the labels on the Time tab. To change or add the labels on an existing graph, double-click the x-scale, then specify the labels on the Time tab.

Time Scale
Select the labels to use on the time scale.
Index
Use integers for labels. For example, on the following time series plot, on the x-scale, 1 indicates the first observation, 2 indicates the second observation, and so on.

In Start Values, enter the first integer for the scale. To specify an increment other than 1, deselect Auto for Data Increment, then enter the interval for the integers. For example, to display 2, 4, 6, 8, and so on for the time scale, in Start Values enter 2 and in Data Increment enter 2.

Calendar or Clock
Use calendar or clock units that you specify for labels. For example, on the following time series plot, the units are months.
In Start Values, select one of the following
  • One set for all variables: If you are plotting multiple variables, use the same start values for all variables. Enter the number for the start value for each component of the time scale.
  • One set for each variable: If you are plotting multiple variables, use a different set of start values for each variable. For each variable, enter the number for the start value for each component of the time scale.
Stamp
Label the x-axis with values from a column. In Stamp columns (1-3, innermost first), enter up to three columns that contain date/time, numeric, or text values for the scale. For example, on the following time series plot, the stamp column specifies the shift and day.
C1-T
Shift and Day
S1D1
S2D1
S3D1
...
Data Increment
Enter the data interval between the values on the innermost time scale.

Change the position of the tick marks

When you create a graph, Minitab sets the tick mark positions to fit the time scale. To change the tick mark positions, double-click the scale. On the Scale tab, under Tick Positions, specify one of the following:
Automatic
Display the tick marks in their default positions.
Specify tick start/increment
For each scale level, enter the value for the first tick mark and the increment for the tick marks. For example, if the time scale is the month starting with January, to display every fifth tick mark starting in February, enter 2 for the Start and 5 for the Increment.
Specify tick positions
Enter the tick position numbers at which you want tick marks to appear. You can enter a series of numbers or specify a range of values. Use a colon between two numbers to indicate the range. Use a slash after the range to indicate an increment amount. For example, 5:30/5 places tick marks at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30.
On the following time series plot with custom tick mark positions, the first tick mark on the time scale is at position 4 (April). The increment is 3 (every third month).
Default tick mark positions
Custom tick mark positions
Note

You can specify the time scale values and range on the Time tab.

Change the scale range

For a time scale, Minitab sets the scale range so that the observations extend the length of the axis. If you want to compress or expand the display of observations on the axis, double-click the time scale. On the Scale tab, under Scale Range, deselect Auto for Minimum or Maximum, then enter the new minimum or maximum.

Change the axis line attributes and tick orientation

To change the color, size, and line type of the axis lines and tick marks, the orientation of tick marks, and the length of major tick marks, double-click the scale, then specify the options on the Attributes tab. The following images illustrate the tick orientation.
Outside
Inside
Out and In

Change the tick mark labels

To specify custom tick mark labels on an existing graph, double-click the scale. On the Labels tab, select Specified, then enter custom labels, separated by spaces.

For example, on the first graph, the default labels are rotated because they are too long to fit. The shorter custom labels on the second graph fit better.
Default tick mark labels
Custom tick mark labels

Edit the font for the tick mark labels on the Font tab. Change the angle of tick mark labels on the Alignment tab.

Change the axis labels

To edit an axis label, double-click the label. On the Font tab, edit the text, and the font. On the Show tab, specify the location on the graph where you want the label to display. On the Alignment tab, specify the text angle and the position relative to the default location.

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