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Align axes labels in 3D plot

version 1.3 (2.21 KB) by

Align the x, y and z labels of the current axes with the x, y and z axes for 3D plots.

6 Ratings



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Editor's Note: This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

If the current axes have been rotated away from the X-Y view, this function will calculate the angles of the current x, y and z axes with respect to horizontal. These angles are used to rotate the current x, y and z axes labels to align them with their respective directions.

This only works for equal sized axes (axis equal) and orthographic projection.

Comments and Ratings (13)


Do not work. Fails when axis not equal.

Prefect. Thanks!

Very useful function!


"Tools For Axis Label Alignment In 3 D Plot" was inspired by this function. Please look at that submission to see if it can do what you need.


Hi, this does work with "axis equal" on. Any idea on how to make it work with the z axis set to automatic?

George Shoane

Fantastic program. It works!


Maria (view profile)

that was perfect...just has a typing mistake.... instead of axis equal you have written axes equal....thnx


Yes, it does, and I've updated it so that it also works with Camera Roll too. Hope this helps.


Jveer (view profile)

does this work if you rotate using orbit camera from cameratoolbar?

From the author: The labels should appear in the same place for the same view, but Matlab decides where that place is according to the current spacing.

I've looked into making this work without "axis equal" having been called (equal sized axes) and I'm stumped as to how to figure out the stretch of the plotted axes when they're not equal. Any help would be appreciated.

Rob Campbell

Rob Campbell (view profile)

Useful. The only problem is that if you rotate and re-align a few times then it's possible for the labels to drift away from the centre of the axes. It would be nice if the label were re-centred as well as aligned.



Fixed typos in help and warning. Updated help with examples including its use as a callback after each rotate3d event.


Updated to allow Camera Roll to be used and still work out the angles correctly, i.e. allow a change in CameraUpVector axes property. The z axis label will now be rotated too, to align it with its axis direction if the camera has been rolled.


Added the conditions under which the function correctly works.

MATLAB Release
MATLAB 7.11 (R2010b)

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