I have a small question. Suppose I make a 3D plot using the command:

Plot3D[{Exp[x] + Sin[x]}, {x, 0, 1}, {y, 0, 1}]

This generates the following graph:

enter image description here

Now, what if I wish to rotate the graph and make ensure that it's orientation seems presentable enough to include in a paper. Let me give you an example based on the 3D plot that I wish to use. Here's the default 3D plot:

enter image description here

Clearly, the by default orientation is a mess. I rotated it by hand to the following orientation:

enter image description here

The output seems much better. I now embed this graph in a PDF. Here's a snippet:

enter image description here

The graph in question is labelled (b). Compared to the graph labelled (d), which is in the default orientation, graph (b) takes up a lot more space and is awkwardly positioned (though all this isn't clear from the snippet).

My question is, are there commands one can use to deftly manipulate the orientation of 3D plots while ensure I get the best possible output to embed in a PDF?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I understand your question. You are asking how to rotate a 3d plot, but you clearly did it to get the graph in (b), so you know how to do it. Cannot you just rotate the plot until you get the orientation you want, and then export the rotated version? $\endgroup$
    – glS
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ You really should look at the View* options. See e.g. this. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ If you want to understand how works the View options have a look at 12000.org/my_notes/faq/mma_notes/MMA.htm#x1-6900051 question 100 $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @cyrille.piatecki the link doesn't work. $\endgroup$
    – corey979
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


There are several options for manipulating the orientation of a 3D plot, but I know of no automatic way to orient a plot optimally.

The options you should familiarize yourself with are the following:

Or alternately (arguably, more advanced):

Although there is no simple way to tell Mathematica to auto-orient your plots, a trick that I find very useful is to orient the plot manually by dragging camera after it is plotted, then copying the rotated graphic. You can then type, for example, ViewPoint /. AbsoluteOptions[<paste>] into an input cell and evaluate it to see the setting for ViewPoint in the current rotation. I frequently use this to figure out what orientation is best for a particular 3D plot.


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