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factory for adding zoom callback to matplotlib graphs

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import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
def zoom_factory(ax,base_scale = 2.):
def zoom_fun(event):
# get the current x and y limits
cur_xlim = ax.get_xlim()
cur_ylim = ax.get_ylim()
# set the range
cur_xrange = (cur_xlim[1] - cur_xlim[0])*.5
cur_yrange = (cur_ylim[1] - cur_ylim[0])*.5
xdata = event.xdata # get event x location
ydata = event.ydata # get event y location
if event.button == 'up':
# deal with zoom in
scale_factor = 1/base_scale
elif event.button == 'down':
# deal with zoom out
scale_factor = base_scale
# deal with something that should never happen
scale_factor = 1
print event.button
# set new limits
ax.set_xlim([xdata - cur_xrange*scale_factor,
xdata + cur_xrange*scale_factor])
ax.set_ylim([ydata - cur_yrange*scale_factor,
ydata + cur_yrange*scale_factor])
ax.figure.canvas.draw() # force re-draw
fig = ax.get_figure() # get the figure of interest
# attach the call back
#return the function
return zoom_fun

Very nice!

One modification I made for my PyQt4 GUI: instead of using ax as a parameter, I pass in the parent canvas and say ax = on the first line. Then, instead of plt.draw(), I use canvas.draw(). However, your version works better for subplot zooming.


@jdreaver I didn't see your comment till recently. I am glad it was helpful! If you think your changes would be helpful for other people you should fork the gist.

I also tweaked it a bit to not call plt.draw().

IMHO, I think we don't have to calculate the cur_xrange and cur_yrange. Instead we can calculate the relative distance from the cursor position to the frame like this:

        # Get distance from the cursor to the edge of the figure frame
        x_left = xdata - cur_xlim[0]
        x_right = cur_xlim[1] - xdata
        y_top = ydata - cur_ylim[0]
        y_bottom = cur_ylim[1] - ydata

then set the new xlim, ylim like this:

ax.set_xlim([xdata - x_left*scale_factor,
                    xdata + x_right*scale_factor])
ax.set_ylim([ydata - y_top*scale_factor,
                    ydata + y_bottom*scale_factor])

By this way, when zooming in and zooming out, the pixel which the cursor is pointing to won't be changed.

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