How can I label the axes on my Surfer map with dates (or other custom text)?

To format axes on a Surfer map with dates or times, follow these steps:

  1. Create the map using dates or times for the X or Y data. See: How can I grid my data using date/times?
  2. Select the axis in the Contents window.
  3. In the Properties window, click on the Labels page, expand the Label Format section.
  4. Set the Type to Date/time.
  5. You then can specify the particular Date format or Time format desired.

If you are using Surfer 11 or a previous version, or want to label the axes with custom text from a column in the worksheet, create additional post maps along the axis locations, overlay the post maps, and label the points.

For example, users may want date labels along their axes in older versions of Surfer, or they may want custom text labels on their axes. 

The example below shows how to label the bottom axis on a map with dates (or any custom text):

  1. Select the Bottom Axis in the Object Manager for the map (or whatever axes shows the Julian date values or whatever axis you want to create custom labels for).
  2. In the Property Manager, on the General page uncheck the Show checkbox.
  3. On the Ticks page set the Major Ticks and Minor Ticks styles both to None.
  4. Select the Map in the Object Manager, and in the Property Manager, on the Limits page, note the Y minimum value for the map.
  5. Open the Surfer worksheet, or an Excel worksheet, and create a data file with 3 columns of data for all the tick marks and labels you would like to see on the axis:
    1. X value (the actual X data value, Julian dates in this case)
    2. Y minimum value of the map (this will be the same Y value for all points)
    3. label corresponding to the X value on the same row (whatever you want for the axis labels, the date/time formatted dates in this case)
  6. Select the map and click Map | Add | Post Layer, select the data file and click Open. If you are asked if you want to adjust the map limits, click No.
  7. Select the post map and in the Property Manager, make sure the post map uses the first two columns of data for the X and Y columns and uses the "+" symbol.
  8. Click the Labels tab and set the label column to be the column containing the label data, and choose to position the labels below the symbol. 
  9. If you want to make adjustments to the date labels, select the post map, and in the Property Manager click the Labels tab, and make font adjustments or placement changes here.


See also: How can I grid my data using date/times?


Updated October 20, 2017

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