Help topics


Geoms, short for geometric objects, describe the type of plot you will produce.

  • geom_abline(geom_hline, geom_vline)
    Lines: horizontal, vertical, and specified by slope and intercept.
  • geom_bar(stat_count)
    Bars, rectangles with bases on x-axis
  • geom_bin2d(stat_bin2d, stat_bin_2d)
    Add heatmap of 2d bin counts.
  • geom_blank
    Blank, draws nothing.
  • geom_boxplot(stat_boxplot)
    Box and whiskers plot.
  • geom_contour(stat_contour)
    Display contours of a 3d surface in 2d.
  • geom_count(stat_sum)
    Count the number of observations at each location.
  • geom_crossbar(geom_errorbar, geom_linerange, geom_pointrange)
    Vertical intervals: lines, crossbars & errorbars.
  • geom_density(stat_density)
    Display a smooth density estimate.
  • geom_density_2d(geom_density2d, stat_density2d, stat_density_2d)
    Contours from a 2d density estimate.
  • geom_dotplot
    Dot plot
  • geom_errorbarh
    Horizontal error bars
  • geom_freqpoly(geom_histogram, stat_bin)
    Histograms and frequency polygons.
  • geom_hex(stat_bin_hex, stat_binhex)
    Hexagon binning.
  • geom_jitter
    Points, jittered to reduce overplotting.
  • geom_label(geom_text)
    Textual annotations.
  • geom_map
    Polygons from a reference map.
  • geom_path(geom_line, geom_step)
    Connect observations.
  • geom_point
    Points, as for a scatterplot
  • geom_polygon
    Polygon, a filled path.
  • geom_quantile(stat_quantile)
    Add quantile lines from a quantile regression.
  • geom_raster(geom_rect, geom_tile)
    Draw rectangles.
  • geom_ribbon(geom_area)
    Ribbons and area plots.
  • geom_rug
    Marginal rug plots.
  • geom_segment(geom_curve)
    Line segments and curves.
  • geom_smooth(stat_smooth)
    Add a smoothed conditional mean.
  • geom_violin(stat_ydensity)
    Violin plot.


It's often useful to transform your data before plotting, and that's what statistical transformations do.


Scales control the mapping between data and aesthetics.

  • expand_limits
    Expand the plot limits with data.
  • guides
    Set guides for each scale.
  • guide_legend
    Legend guide.
  • guide_colourbar(guide_colorbar)
    Continuous colour bar guide.
  • lims(xlim, ylim)
    Convenience functions to set the axis limits.
  • scale_alpha(scale_alpha_continuous, scale_alpha_discrete)
    Alpha scales.
  • scale_colour_brewer(scale_color_brewer, scale_color_distiller, scale_colour_distiller, scale_fill_brewer, scale_fill_distiller)
    Sequential, diverging and qualitative colour scales from
  • scale_colour_gradient(scale_color_continuous, scale_color_gradient, scale_color_gradient2, scale_color_gradientn, scale_colour_continuous, scale_colour_gradient2, scale_colour_gradientn, scale_fill_continuous, scale_fill_gradient, scale_fill_gradient2, scale_fill_gradientn)
    Smooth gradient between two colours
  • scale_colour_grey(scale_color_grey, scale_fill_grey)
    Sequential grey colour scale.
  • scale_colour_hue(scale_color_discrete, scale_color_hue, scale_colour_discrete, scale_fill_discrete, scale_fill_hue)
    Qualitative colour scale with evenly spaced hues.
  • scale_identity(scale_alpha_identity, scale_color_identity, scale_colour_identity, scale_fill_identity, scale_linetype_identity, scale_shape_identity, scale_size_identity)
    Use values without scaling.
  • scale_manual(scale_alpha_manual, scale_color_manual, scale_colour_manual, scale_fill_manual, scale_linetype_manual, scale_shape_manual, scale_size_manual)
    Create your own discrete scale.
  • scale_linetype(scale_linetype_continuous, scale_linetype_discrete)
    Scale for line patterns.
  • scale_shape(scale_shape_continuous, scale_shape_discrete)
    Scale for shapes, aka glyphs.
  • scale_size(scale_radius, scale_size_area, scale_size_continuous, scale_size_discrete)
    Scale size (area or radius).
  • scale_x_discrete(scale_y_discrete)
    Discrete position.
  • labs(ggtitle, xlab, ylab)
    Change axis labels and legend titles
  • update_labels
    Update axis/legend labels

Coordinate systems

Coordinate systems adjust the mapping from coordinates to the 2d plane of the computer screen.


Facets display subsets of the dataset in different panels.

Position adjustments

Position adjustments can be used to fine tune positioning of objects to achieve effects like dodging, jittering and stacking.


Data sets included in ggplot2 and used in examples

  • diamonds
    Prices of 50,000 round cut diamonds
  • economics(economics_long)
    US economic time series.
  • faithfuld
    2d density estimate of Old Faithful data
  • luv_colours
  • 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.


Specialised functions for adding annotations to a plot


Fortify methods make it possible to use ggplot2 with objects of various types, not just data frames.

  • fortify
    Fortify a model with data.
  • fortify-multcomp(fortify.cld, fortify.confint.glht, fortify.glht, fortify.summary.glht)
    Fortify methods for objects produced by
  • fortify.lm
    Supplement the data fitted to a linear model with model fit statistics.
    Fortify method for map objects.
  • fortify.sp(fortify.Line, fortify.Lines, fortify.Polygon, fortify.Polygons, fortify.SpatialLinesDataFrame, fortify.SpatialPolygons, fortify.SpatialPolygonsDataFrame)
    Fortify method for classes from the sp package.
  • map_data
    Create a data frame of map data.


Themes control non-data components of the plot

  • add_theme
    Modify properties of an element in a theme object
  • calc_element
    Calculate the element properties, by inheriting properties from its parents
  • element_blank
    Theme element: blank.
  • element_line
    Theme element: line.
  • element_rect
    Theme element: rectangle.
  • element_text
    Theme element: text.
  • ggtheme(theme_bw, theme_classic, theme_dark, theme_gray, theme_grey, theme_light, theme_linedraw, theme_minimal, theme_void)
    ggplot2 themes
  • is.rel
    Reports whether x is a rel object
  • is.theme
    Reports whether x is a theme object
  • margin
    Define margins.
  • rel
    Relative sizing for theme elements
  • theme
    Set theme elements
  • theme_update(theme_get, theme_set)
    Get, set and update themes.

Plot creation

  • ggplot(, ggplot.default)
    Create a new ggplot plot.
  • qplot(quickplot)
    Quick plot
  •, %+replace%)
    Modify a ggplot or theme object by adding on new components.
  • autoplot
    Create a complete ggplot appropriate to a particular data type
  • is.ggplot
    Reports whether x is a ggplot object
  • print.ggplot(plot.ggplot)
    Draw plot on current graphics device.


  • aes
    Define aesthetic mappings.
  • aes_(aes_q, aes_string)
    Define aesthetic mappings from strings, or quoted calls and formulas.
  • aes_all
    Given a character vector, create a set of identity mappings
  • aes_auto
    Automatic aesthetic mapping
  • aes_colour_fill_alpha(color, colour, fill)
    Colour related aesthetics: colour, fill and alpha
  • aes_group_order(group)
    Aesthetics: group
  • aes_linetype_size_shape(linetype, shape, size)
    Differentiation related aesthetics: linetype, size, shape
  • aes_position(x, xend, xmax, xmin, y, yend, ymax, ymin)
    Position related aesthetics: x, y, xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax, xend, yend



  • as_labeller
    Coerce to labeller function
  • as.list.ggproto
    Convert a ggproto object to a list
  • cut_interval(cut_number, cut_width)
    Cut up numeric vector into useful groups.
  • geom_spoke(stat_spoke)
    A line segment parameterised by location, direction and distance.
  • ggsave
    Save a ggplot (or other grid object) with sensible defaults
  • graphical-units(.pt, .stroke)
    Graphical units
  • hmisc(mean_cl_boot, mean_cl_normal, mean_sdl, median_hilow)
    Wrap up a selection of summary functions from Hmisc to make it easy to use
  • labellers(label_both, label_context, label_parsed, label_value, label_wrap_gen)
    Labeller functions
  • last_plot
    Retrieve the last plot to be modified or created.
  • layer
    Create a new layer
  • mean_se
    Calculate mean and standard errors on either side.
  • resolution
    Compute the "resolution" of a data vector.
  • scale_continuous(scale_x_continuous, scale_x_log10, scale_x_reverse, scale_x_sqrt, scale_y_continuous, scale_y_log10, scale_y_reverse, scale_y_sqrt)
    Continuous position scales (x & y).
  • scale_date(scale_x_date, scale_x_datetime, scale_y_date, scale_y_datetime)
    Position scale, date & date times
  • stat_summary_bin(stat_summary)
    Summarise y values at unique/binned x x.
  • translate_qplot_base
    Translating between qplot and base graphics
  • translate_qplot_ggplot
    Translating between qplot and ggplot
  • translate_qplot_lattice
    Translating between qplot and lattice
  • txhousing
    Housing sales in TX.
  • update_geom_defaults(update_stat_defaults)
    Modify geom/stat aesthetic defaults for future plots


  • Imports: digest, grid, gtable, MASS, plyr, reshape2, scales, stats
  • Suggests: ggplot2movies, hexbin, Hmisc, mapproj, maps, maptools, mgcv, multcomp, nlme, testthat, quantreg, knitr