Plot basics

All ggplot2 plots with a call to ggplot(), supplying default data and aesthethic mappings, specified by aes(). You then add layers, scales, coords and facets with +. To save a plot to disk, use ggsave().

ggplot()

Create a new ggplot

aes()

Construct aesthetic mappings

`+`(<gg>) `%+%`()

Add components to a plot

ggsave()

Save a ggplot (or other grid object) with sensible defaults

qplot() quickplot()

Quick plot

Layer: geoms

A layer combines data, aesthetic mapping, a geom (geometric object), a stat (statistical transformation), and a position adjustment. Typically, you will create layers using a geom_ function, overriding the default position and stat if needed.

geom_abline() geom_hline() geom_vline()

Reference lines: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal

geom_bar() geom_col() stat_count()

Bar charts

geom_bin2d() stat_bin_2d()

Heatmap of 2d bin counts

geom_blank()

Draw nothing

geom_boxplot() stat_boxplot()

A box and whiskers plot (in the style of Tukey)

geom_contour() stat_contour()

2d contours of a 3d surface

geom_count() stat_sum()

Count overlapping points

geom_density() stat_density()

Smoothed density estimates

geom_density_2d() stat_density_2d()

Contours of a 2d density estimate

geom_dotplot()

Dot plot

geom_errorbarh()

Horizontal error bars

geom_hex() stat_bin_hex()

Hexagonal heatmap of 2d bin counts

geom_freqpoly() geom_histogram() stat_bin()

Histograms and frequency polygons

geom_jitter()

Jittered points

geom_crossbar() geom_errorbar() geom_linerange() geom_pointrange()

Vertical intervals: lines, crossbars & errorbars

geom_map()

Polygons from a reference map

geom_path() geom_line() geom_step()

Connect observations

geom_point()

Points

geom_polygon()

Polygons

geom_qq_line() stat_qq_line() geom_qq() stat_qq()

A quantile-quantile plot

geom_quantile() stat_quantile()

Quantile regression

geom_ribbon() geom_area()

Ribbons and area plots

geom_rug()

Rug plots in the margins

geom_segment() geom_curve()

Line segments and curves

geom_smooth() stat_smooth()

Smoothed conditional means

geom_spoke()

Line segments parameterised by location, direction and distance

geom_label() geom_text()

Text

geom_raster() geom_rect() geom_tile()

Rectangles

geom_violin() stat_ydensity()

Violin plot

stat_sf() geom_sf() coord_sf()

Visualise sf objects

Layer: stats

A handful of layers are more easily specified with a stat_ function, drawing attention to the statistical transformation rather than the visual appearance.

stat_ecdf()

Compute empirical cumulative distribution

stat_ellipse()

Compute normal confidence ellipses

stat_function()

Compute function for each x value

stat_identity()

Leave data as is

stat_summary_2d() stat_summary_hex()

Bin and summarise in 2d (rectangle & hexagons)

stat_summary_bin() stat_summary()

Summarise y values at unique/binned x

stat_unique()

Remove duplicates

Layer: position adjustment

All layers have a position adjustment that resolves overlapping geoms. Override the default by using the position argument to the geom_ or stat_ function.

position_dodge() position_dodge2()

Dodge overlapping objects side-to-side

position_identity()

Don't adjust position

position_jitter()

Jitter points to avoid overplotting

position_jitterdodge()

Simultaneously dodge and jitter

position_nudge()

Nudge points a fixed distance

position_stack() position_fill()

Stack overlapping objects on top of each another

Layer: annotations

Annotation are special types of layer than don’t inherit global settings from the plot. They are used to add fixed reference data to plot.

geom_abline() geom_hline() geom_vline()

Reference lines: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal

annotate()

Create an annotation layer

annotation_custom()

Annotation: Custom grob

annotation_logticks()

Annotation: log tick marks

annotation_map()

Annotation: a maps

annotation_raster()

Annotation: high-performance rectangular tiling

borders()

Create a layer of map borders

Aesthetics

The following help topics give a broad overview of some of the ways you can use each aesthetic

aes_colour_fill_alpha

Colour related aesthetics: colour, fill and alpha

aes_group_order

Aesthetics: grouping

aes_linetype_size_shape

Differentiation related aesthetics: linetype, size, shape

aes_position

Position related aesthetics: x, y, xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax, xend, yend

Scales

Scales control the details of how data values are translated to visual properties. Override the default scales to tweak details like the axis labels or legend keys, or to use a completely different translation from data to aesthetic. labs() and lims() are convenient helpers for the most common adjustments to the labels and limits.

labs() xlab() ylab() ggtitle()

Modify axis, legend, and plot labels

lims() xlim() ylim()

Set scale limits

expand_limits()

Expand the plot limits, using data

scale_alpha() scale_alpha_continuous() scale_alpha_discrete() scale_alpha_ordinal()

Alpha transparency scales

scale_colour_brewer() scale_fill_brewer() scale_colour_distiller() scale_fill_distiller()

Sequential, diverging and qualitative colour scales from colorbrewer.org

scale_colour_continuous() scale_fill_continuous()

Continuous colour scales

scale_x_continuous() scale_y_continuous() scale_x_log10() scale_y_log10() scale_x_reverse() scale_y_reverse() scale_x_sqrt() scale_y_sqrt()

Position scales for continuous data (x & y)

scale_x_date() scale_y_date() scale_x_datetime() scale_y_datetime() scale_x_time() scale_y_time()

Position scales for date/time data

scale_x_discrete() scale_y_discrete()

Position scales for discrete data

scale_colour_gradient() scale_fill_gradient() scale_colour_gradient2() scale_fill_gradient2() scale_colour_gradientn() scale_fill_gradientn()

Gradient colour scales

scale_colour_grey() scale_fill_grey()

Sequential grey colour scales

scale_colour_hue() scale_fill_hue()

Evenly spaced colours for discrete data

scale_colour_identity() scale_fill_identity() scale_shape_identity() scale_linetype_identity() scale_alpha_identity() scale_size_identity()

Use values without scaling

scale_linetype() scale_linetype_continuous() scale_linetype_discrete()

Scale for line patterns

scale_colour_manual() scale_fill_manual() scale_size_manual() scale_shape_manual() scale_linetype_manual() scale_alpha_manual()

Create your own discrete scale

scale_shape()

Scales for shapes, aka glyphs

scale_radius() scale_size() scale_size_area()

Scales for area or radius

scale_colour_viridis_d() scale_fill_viridis_d() scale_colour_viridis_c() scale_fill_viridis_c()

Viridis colour scales from viridisLite

Guides: axes and legends

The guides (the axes and legends) help readers interpret your plots. Guides are mostly controlled via the scale (e.g. with the limits, breaks, and labels arguments), but sometimes you will need additional cover over the guide appearance. Use guides() or the guide argument to individual scales along with guide_colourbar() or guide_legend().

guide_colourbar() guide_colorbar()

Continuous colour bar guide

guide_legend()

Legend guide

guides()

Set guides for each scale

sec_axis() dup_axis() derive()

Specify a secondary axis

Facetting

Facetting generates small multiples, each displaying a different subset of the data. Facets are an alternative to aesthetics for displaying additional discrete variables.

facet_grid()

Lay out panels in a grid

facet_wrap()

Wrap a 1d ribbon of panels into 2d

Facetting: labels

These functions provide a flexible toolkit for controlling the display of the “strip” labels on facets.

labeller()

Construct labelling specification

label_value() label_both() label_context() label_parsed() label_wrap_gen()

Useful labeller functions

label_bquote()

Label with mathematical expressions

Coordinate systems

The coordinate system determines how the x and y aesthetics combine to position elements in the plot. The default coordinate system is Cartesian (coord_cartesian()), which can be tweaked with coord_map(), coord_fixed(), coord_flip(), and coord_trans(), or completely replaced with coord_polar().

coord_cartesian()

Cartesian coordinates

coord_fixed()

Cartesian coordinates with fixed "aspect ratio"

coord_flip()

Cartesian coordinates with x and y flipped

coord_map() coord_quickmap()

Map projections

coord_polar()

Polar coordinates

coord_trans()

Transformed Cartesian coordinate system

Themes

Themes control the display of all non-data elements of the plot. You can override all settings with a complete theme like theme_bw(), or choose to tweak individual settings by using theme() and the element_ functions. Use theme_set() to modify the active theme, affecting all future plots.

theme()

Modify components of a theme

theme_grey() theme_gray() theme_bw() theme_linedraw() theme_light() theme_dark() theme_minimal() theme_classic() theme_void() theme_test()

Complete themes

theme_get() theme_set() theme_update() theme_replace() `%+replace%`()

Get, set, and modify the active theme

margin() element_blank() element_rect() element_line() element_text() rel()

Theme elements

Programming with ggplot2

These functions provides tools to help you program with ggplot2, creating functions and for-loops that generate plots for you.

aes_() aes_string() aes_q()

Define aesthetic mappings programatically

print(<ggplot>) plot(<ggplot>)

Explicitly draw plot

Extending ggplot2

To create your own geoms, stats, scales, and facets, you’ll need to learn a bit about the object oriented system that ggplot2 uses. Start by reading vignette("extending-ggplot2") then consult these functions for more details.

ggproto() ggproto_parent() is.ggproto()

Create a new ggproto object

print(<ggproto>) format(<ggproto>)

Format or print a ggproto object

Vector helpers

ggplot2 also provides a handful of helpers that are useful for creating visualisations.

cut_interval() cut_number() cut_width()

Discretise numeric data into categorical

mean_cl_boot() mean_cl_normal() mean_sdl() median_hilow()

A selection of summary functions from Hmisc

mean_se()

Calculate mean and standard error

resolution()

Compute the "resolution" of a numeric vector

Data

ggplot2 comes with a selection of built-in datasets that are used in examples to illustrate various visualisation challenges.

diamonds

Prices of 50,000 round cut diamonds

economics economics_long

US economic time series

faithfuld

2d density estimate of Old Faithful data

midwest

Midwest demographics

mpg

Fuel economy data from 1999 and 2008 for 38 popular models of car

msleep

An updated and expanded version of the mammals sleep dataset

presidential

Terms of 11 presidents from Eisenhower to Obama

seals

Vector field of seal movements

txhousing

Housing sales in TX

luv_colours

colors() in Luv space

Autoplot and fortify

autoplot() is an extension mechanism for ggplot2 it provides a way for package authors to add methods that work like the base plot() function, generating useful default plots with little user interaction. fortify() turns objects into tidy data frames: it has largely been superceded by the broom package.

autoplot()

Create a complete ggplot appropriate to a particular data type

autolayer()

Create a ggplot layer appropriate to a particular data type

fortify()

Fortify a model with data.

map_data()

Create a data frame of map data