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I'm sure this must have been asked before but I am unable to find anything here on SE or on Google in general.

I simply want to know what the default color and thickness are for a Frame on a Plot and for the Axes.

Looking in the help seems to send me down a rabbit hole of,

The default style of axes is specified by the option DefaultAxesStyle.

For Graphics, the default setting is DefaultAxesStyle->"GraphicsAxes"

And although I can use GraphicsAxes as an option value, eg FrameStyle->"GraphicsAxes" I still can't discover what the actual shade of gray and line thickness that is. Are these deliberately hidden somewhere, or I am not looking hard enough?

Many thanks,

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Have a look here Is there a method to look inside at the internal code of Built-In functions?, is this helpful? – Louis Jan 28 at 16:18
Good question. If you look at FullForm[Plot[Sin[x], {x, 0, 1}, Frame->True] or leave the Frame off, no head contains AxesStyle or FrameStyle so I also am stuck pondering what are the color and thickness of for the defaults "GraphicsAxes" and "GraphicsFrame". – Jack LaVigne Jan 28 at 17:03
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Hunting through the stylesheets is effective, but does not necessarily give you the current value being used if it has been modified. Instead, use

CurrentValue[{StyleDefinitions , "GraphicsAxes"}]
(* {Arrowheads -> {}, LineColor -> GrayLevel[0.4], Thickness -> Absolute[0.2]} *)

CurrentValue[{StyleDefinitions , "GraphicsFrame"}]
(* {LineColor -> GrayLevel[0.4], Thickness -> Absolute[0.5]} *)
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Nice code! I just tried to help myself and applied CurrentValue[{StyleDefinitions, "FrameTicksStyle"}] to get the values from a ListDensityPlotit brings {} What am I doing wrong? – Kay Apr 11 at 13:30
@Kay if you notice, the query is not "AxesStyle" or "FrameStyle", but "GraphicsAxes" and "GraphicsFrame". Extrapolating from that, you're looking for "GraphicsFrameTicks", not "FrameTicksStyle", and you get {ScriptLevel -> 1, LineColor -> GrayLevel[0.4]}, in 10.4. – rcollyer Apr 11 at 13:50
right! thank you! – Kay Apr 11 at 14:28

The styles "GraphicsAxes" and "GraphicsFrame" are defined in the stylesheet "Core.nb".

  • To access to this file use the menu : format/edit stylesheet
  • Then in the notebook that appears click on Default.nb
  • In the new notebook that appears click on Core.nb
  • Then the notebook core.nb appears.
  • Go to section :"style for Mathematica System-specific Elements" and open it
  • Go to the cell "default Box style" and open it
  • Go to "Local definition for style Graphics"
  • Select the cell "GraphicsAxes"
  • Do Control-Shift-E (on Windows, otherwise you can use the menu : Cell/ShowExpression)
  • Then you see :

    Cell[StyleData["GraphicsAxes"], Arrowheads->{}, LineColor->GrayLevel[0.4], Thickness->Absolute[0.2]]

This is the internal structure of the cell. One can see the settings for the style "GraphicsAxes"

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