xtick formatting

Setting the pad in the .matplotlibrc file was an excellent

    > solution for me. And being able to set all my font
    > preferences there is a great feature that I don't think
    > Matlab has. One of the first things I needed to do in Matlab
    > was write a script that formatted my figures the way I
    > liked. I assumed I needed to do the same thing in mpl, but
    > not so. Good Stuff!

As a long time matlab user, I grew tired of all the arcane commands
you have to execute to customize the figure. So I tried to make the
most common stuff configurable in the rc file. One feature I use a lot
is directory level customization. mpl looks in the current directory
first for the rc file, then HOME and then in the site locations.

Typically, I want different defaults for the web, for publication and
for the screen, and use directory specific rc file for these. See
also the "rc" command, for changing the defaults on a per script