Graph tip - How to put a gap (or gaps) in an axis.

This example shows how to place a gap in an axis. The example is for the X axis but it works the same for the Y axis.

How to do it:

To create a discontinuous axis with Prism requires three steps.

  1. Double-click on the axis to open the Format Axes dialog. In the Gaps and Directions section, you can choose either a two-segment (one gap) or three-segment (two gaps) axis.


  1. Set the length and range of each segment. For each segment, set the range and length (as a percent of the total length of the axis). 
  2. Format major and minor ticks for each segment. You can choose the spacing and properties for minor and major ticks separately for each axis segment.

Set the limits for the left segment:

Set the limits for the right segment:

You can also drag the segments to the size you want. Click on the axis segment to select it. You'll see selection knobs at each end. Drag the knob just to the left of (or below) the gap to change the position of the gap along the axis (make one segment larger, and another smaller). Drag the knob to the right of (or above) the gap to widen or narrow the gap itself.

if you want to replace any particular tick with a custom label, use the additional tick feature. Double-click on either segment of the axis to open the Format axes dialog place the tick and label. Click that you want to only show the additional tick.


Click here to download the file used to make this graph.

Keywords: axis gap break two-segment discontinuous discontinuity two-segment

Explore the Knowledgebase

Analyze, graph and present your scientific work easily with GraphPad Prism. No coding required.