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RE: New Plot output in version 5

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg44268] RE: [mg44247] New Plot output in version 5
  • From: "David Park" <djmp at>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 03:23:38 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


It's true that the behavior here has changed from Version 4.2 to 5.0 but
many people might consider it an improvement in that the more interesting
part of the function is shown. However, I can see how it might be a little
annoying when the Mathematica feature of picking out the more "interesting"
portion of a plot doesn't pick what you want.

But the fact is, to make a really nice plot you are almost always going to
have to use plot options and fiddle with the plot. It is not only a feature
of Mathematica but it is a feature of doing graphics.

For example, with your step function I decided it would look better in a
Frame  without axes and that a much abreviated set of tick labels would
better emphasize the essential nature of the function. So here is a plot
after fiddling around.


Plot[UnitStep[x], {x, -1, 5},
    PlotStyle -> Blue,
    Frame -> True,
    PlotRange -> {{-1.05, 5}, {-0.1, 1.5}},
    Axes -> False,
    FrameLabel -> {x, f},
    FrameTicks -> {Table[{i, i}, {i, -1, 5}], {{0, 0}, {1, 1}}, None, None},
    PlotLabel -> "Unit Step Function",
    Background -> Linen,
    ImageSize -> 450];

If you want a quick plot you could use something like

Plot[UnitStep[x], {x, -1, 12}];

but if you want a nice plot you are just going to have to use options.

David Park
djmp at

From: Mariusz Jankowski [mailto:mjankowski at]
To: mathgroup at

I just noticed that Plot no longer obeys the domain limits given by its
second argument. Try the following to reproduce my result:

Plot[UnitStep[x], {x,-1,5}]

This cannot possibly be a feature change, can it? I know I can force the
desired behavior by using PlotRange, but why should I need to repeat myself?
(At home, with my kids, I am used to it, but with Mathematica ... )


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