You can style the axes in Plot with AxesStyle. For example, the following code makes the axes red.

Plot[Sin[x], {x, -3, 3}, Axes -> True, AxesStyle -> Red]

I cannot seem to find a way to style the polar axes in PolarPlot. AxesStyle does not work and there is no PolarAxesStyle function. I was hoping to get this code below to work but it doesn't.

PolarPlot[θ, {θ, 0, 3 π}, PolarAxes -> True, AxesStyle -> Red]

Is this a missing feature in Mathematica?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I do not know why it does not work. But Will this work for your? PolarPlot[θ, {θ, 0, 3 π}, BaseStyle -> Red, PolarAxes -> True] $\endgroup$
    – Nasser
    Dec 12, 2015 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ Yes it does. Interesting... It would seem their naming scheme is not uniform. There must be a good reason for this... that I am not aware of. But it seems a little counterintuitive to me. Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – B flat
    Dec 12, 2015 at 7:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ According to help, I think it should have worked. It might be a bug. I do not know. May be someone else would know better what is going on. $\endgroup$
    – Nasser
    Dec 12, 2015 at 7:27

2 Answers 2


AxesStyle modifies the Cartesian axes, not the polar ones:

PolarPlot[θ, {θ, 0, 4 Pi},
  AxesStyle -> {Directive[Thick, Blue], Directive[16, Orange]}

polar plot with colored Cartesian axes

I could not find a built-in way to modify the polar axes, so after taking a look at the structure of the Graphics object generated by PolarPlot, I came up with the following helper function that modifies the graphics primitives corresponding to axes, ticks, and labels on the polar axes.

By default:

  • If these features are not present, nothing happens to the plot even if options were selected;
  • If no options are specified, then the defaults output by PolarPlot will be left alone.

This is colorPolarAxes:


Options[colorPolarAxes] = 
  {PolarAxesStyle -> {}, PolarLabelsStyle -> {}, PolarTicksStyle -> {}};

colorPolarAxes[plot_Graphics, OptionsPattern[]] :=
   Text[Style[lbl__, {}], pos__] :> Text[Style[lbl, OptionValue[PolarLabelsStyle]], pos],
   Style[Line[def__], {}] :> Style[Line[def], OptionValue[PolarTicksStyle]],
   Circle[options__] :> Style[Circle[options], OptionValue[PolarAxesStyle]]

Here is an example of its use:

  PolarPlot[θ, {θ, 0, 4 Pi}, PolarAxes -> Automatic, PolarTicks -> {"Degrees", None}],
  PolarAxesStyle -> Orange,
  PolarLabelsStyle -> {Darker@Green, 14, Italic},
  PolarTicksStyle -> {Blue, Thick}

plot with colored polar axes, ticks and labels

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Excellent, I remember scratching my head over this back when it was posted. $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Feb 22, 2016 at 6:26
PolarPlot[\[Theta], {\[Theta], 0, 4 Pi}, 
 PlotStyle -> Directive[Thickness[.006], Black], 
 PolarGridLines -> Automatic, 
 GridLinesStyle -> Directive[Dashed, Black], PolarAxes -> Automatic, 
 PolarTicks -> {"Degrees", Automatic}, 
 TicksStyle -> Directive[Blue, Thick, 14]]

Try this once


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