I would like to plot, say, Sin[x/a] with multiples "a" showing on the x axis as units. How can I do that ?

I have tried setting the plot limits e.g. {x, -2a, 2a}. I cannot plot said function even with limits as {x, -2, 2}.

How does one plot functions with parameters ?

  • $\begingroup$ Did you take a look at the extensive help for Plot yet? $\endgroup$
    – Jinxed
    Apr 2, 2015 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


Use the Ticks-option of Plot for this:

Example: a=\[Pi]

With[{a = \[Pi]}, 
 Plot[Sin[x/a], {x, -2 a, 2 a}, 
  Ticks -> {Range[-2 a, 2 a, a], Automatic}]]


new ticks

For "real" quantities, this can be adapted straightforward to display the unit in the ticks:

With[{a = Quantity["Meters"]},
 Plot[Sin[x/a], {x, -2 a, 2 a}, 
  Ticks -> {{QuantityMagnitude@#, #} & /@ Range[-2 a, 2 a, a], 

ticks with units

  • $\begingroup$ Hello, could you make this work with arbitrary units ? Where can I find the extensive help ? Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – joo
    Apr 10, 2015 at 6:54
  • $\begingroup$ @joo: Ever pressed F1 in Mathematica? See Plot and units. $\endgroup$
    – Jinxed
    Apr 10, 2015 at 7:13
  • $\begingroup$ I regarded that as the regular help. As I found no help with my problem there, I asked here. My question stands - how is it possible to make a plot with "a" showing as the units ? Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – joo
    Apr 10, 2015 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ @joo: Take a look at the option Ticks to Plot in that documentation. I will amdend my answer to that regard shortly. $\endgroup$
    – Jinxed
    Apr 10, 2015 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ likewise Ticks -> {{#, StringJoin@ {ToString@#, " a"} } & /@ Range[-2 , 2 ] in case your "unit" is not something Quantity knows $\endgroup$
    – george2079
    Apr 10, 2015 at 16:34

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