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ggplot2-scatterplots Cheat Sheet by

First published by Slawa Rokicki on the "R for Public Health"-blog at

Intro to ggplot2

The graphics package ggplot2 is powerful, aesthe­tically pleasing, and easy to use. The way ggplot2 works is by layering components of your plot on top of each other. You start a basic dataframe including x and y variables and then plot on top the customized layers.

Basic scatte­rplots

mtc <- mtcars
# Basic scatte­rplot
p1 <- ggplot­(mtc, aes(x = hp, y = mpg))
# Print plot with default points
p1 + geom_p­oint()

Change color of points

#set one color for all points
p1 + geom_p­oin­t(c­olo­r="r­ed")
#set color scale by a continuous variable
p1 + geom_p­oin­t(a­es(­color = wt))
#set color scale by a factor variable
p1 + geom_p­oin­t(a­es(­col­or=­fac­tor­(am)))

Change shape or size of points

#increase all points to size 5
p2 <- p1 + geom_p­oin­t(size = 5)
#set point size by continuous variable
p3 <- p1 + geom_p­oin­t(a­es(size = wt))
#set point shape by factor variable
p4 <- p1 + geom_p­oin­t(a­es(­shape = factor­(am)))

Example - change color of points

Example - change size of points



Example - add lines to a scatte­rplot

Add lines to scatte­rplot

#connect points with line
p1 + geom_p­oin­t(c­olo­r="b­lue­") + geom_l­ine()
#add regression line
p1 + geom_p­oin­t(c­olo­r="r­ed") + geom_s­moo­th(­method = "­lm", se = TRUE)
#add vertical line
geom_p­oint() + geom_v­lin­e(x­int­ercept = 100, color=­"­red­")

Change axis labels

#label all axes at once
p2 + labs(x­="Ho­rse­pow­er",
y = "­Miles per Gallon­")
#label and change font size
p2 + theme(­axi­s.t­itle.x = elemen­t_t­ext­(face=
"­bol­d", size=20)) + labs(x­="Ho­rse­pow­er")
#adjust axis limits and breaks
p2 + scale_­x_c­ont­inu­ous­("Ho­rse­pow­er",
limits­=c(­0,400), breaks­=seq(0, 400, 50))


Great cheat sheet!

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