I’m very pleased to announce ggplot2 2.2.0. It includes four major new features:

  • Subtitles and captions.
  • A large rewrite of the faceting system.
  • Improved theme options.
  • Better stacking.

It also includes as numerous bug fixes and minor improvements, as described in the release notes.

The majority of this work was carried out by Thomas Pederson, who I was lucky to have as my “ggplot2 intern” this summer. Make sure to check out his other visualisation packages: ggraph, ggforce, and tweenr.

Install ggplot2 with:

Subtitles and captions

Thanks to Bob Rudis, you can now add subtitles and captions to your plots:

These are controlled by the theme settings plot.subtitle and plot.caption.

The plot title is now aligned to the left by default. To return to the previous centered alignment, use theme(plot.title = element_text(hjust = 0.5)).


The facet and layout implementation has been moved to ggproto and received a large rewrite and refactoring. This will allow others to create their own facetting systems, as described in the vignette("extending-ggplot2"). Along with the rewrite a number of features and improvements has been added, most notably:


Stacking bars

position_stack() and position_fill() now stack values in the reverse order of the grouping, which makes the default stack order match the legend.

(Note also the new geom_col() which is short-hand for geom_bar(stat = "identity"), contributed by Bob Rudis.)

If you want to stack in the opposite order, try forcats::fct_rev():

ggplot(avg_price) + 
  geom_col(aes(x = cut, y = price, fill = fct_rev(color)))

Additionally, you can now stack negative values:

ggplot(avg_price) + 
  geom_col(aes(x = cut, y = price_rel, fill = color))

The overall ordering cannot necessarily be matched in the presence of negative values, but the ordering on either side of the x-axis will match.

Labels can also be stacked, but the default position is suboptimal:

You can improve the position with the vjust parameter. A vjust of 0.5 will center the labels inside the corresponding area:

ggplot(series, aes(time, value, group = type)) +
  geom_area(aes(fill = type)) +
  geom_text(aes(label = type), position = position_stack(vjust = 0.5))