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NCL Graphics: Publication Layout Tricks

Whenever a graphic is submitted to a journal, the layout of the plot is often different from the default presentation. For example, the individual plots in a panel may have added text, or they may have certain labels removed or moved in the interest of space.

In addition to the examples on this page, we suggest you review the panel page, if your figure includes a panel plot.

pub_1.ncl: This example demonstrates how to compress a panel plot for publication purposes. In this case, compress means remove the longitude labels and tickmarks from each of the plots so they can be closer together. I have added a title to the plot, but that may not be necessary if figure captions are used. See example pub_2.ncl on how to add "a)" and "b)" figure strings to the panel plot.

tmXBLabelsOn = False, and tmXBOn = False, turns off the bottom longitude lines and labels.

txString adds a common title to the panel plot.

pub_2.ncl: This is an example of adding corner strings e.g. "a)", "b)" to plots in a panel.

gsnPanelFigureStrings = (/"a)","b)"/), is the resource that will add a string to a corner in a panel plot. The default position is the bottom right-hand corner. To change the location, set "amJust" to one of the following:("TopRight", "TopLeft", or "BottomLeft").

The size of the figure strings is controlled by the gsnPanelFigureStringsFontHeightF resource.

pub_3.ncl: Demonstrates the use of the function drawNDCGrid.

drawNDCGrid will create an NDC map on which you can draw your plots. This is useful for placing further text, polymarkers, polygons, and/or polylines in NDC coordinates gsn_text_ndc near the plot.