3 min read

Ornaments with ggformula

Since some time, there’s a wrapper for ggplot2 available, bundled in the package ggformula. One nice thing is that in that it plays nicely with the popular R package mosaic. mosaic provides some useful functions for modeling along with a tamed and consistent syntax. In this post, we will discuss some “ornaments”, that is, some details of beautification of a plot. I confess that every one will deem it central, but in some cases in comes in handy to know how to “refine” a plot using ggformula.

Note that this “refinement” is primarily controlled via the function gf_refine() (most stuff), gf_lab() (for labs), and gf_lims() (for axis limits). Themes can be adjusted using gf_theme().




Axis labels

gf_point(mpg ~ hp, data = mtcars)  %>% 
  gf_labs(x = "Horsepower",
          y = "Miles per gallone",
          title = "A cool plot")

Axis limits

gf_point(mpg ~ hp, data = mtcars) %>% 
  gf_lims(x = c(100,150))
## Warning: Removed 22 rows containing missing values (geom_point).

Beware! This function will not only “zoom in” but will also kick out the non-displayed data thereby possibly altering geoms such as boxplot or regression line. To just zoom in, use this function instead:

gf_point(mpg ~ hp, data = mtcars) %>% 
  gf_refine(coord_cartesian(xlim = c(100, 150)))

Axis breaks

gf_point(mpg ~ hp, data = mtcars) %>% 
  gf_refine(scale_x_continuous(breaks = seq(from = 50, to = 400, by = 50)))

Basically, gf_refine() takes some scaling functions from ggplot as input, such as scale_XXX_continuous. So check out these functions to get fine control over axis and, more generally, mapping from variables to visuals.

Axis labels for discrete axes

gf_boxplot(hp ~ factor(am), data = mtcars) %>% 
  gf_refine(scale_x_discrete(labels  = c("manual", "automatic")))

As now the x-axis is discrete (as a result of a factor variables on the x-axis), we need to use scale_XXX_discrete this time, where XXX is the x-axis in this example.

Change theme

gf_boxplot(hp ~ factor(am), data = mtcars) %>% 

gf_boxplot(hp ~ factor(am), data = mtcars) %>% 

gf_boxplot(hp ~ factor(am), data = mtcars) %>% 

gf_boxplot(hp ~ factor(am), data = mtcars) %>% 

Theme packages

There are some packages out there providing additional themes out of the box. One example is the package ggthemes.

gf_boxplot(hp ~ factor(am), data = mtcars) %>% 

Change colors – predefined colors

The package viridis provides a nice color scheme.

Standard colors:

gf_hex(price ~ carat, data = diamonds)

gf_hex(price ~ carat, data = diamonds) %>% 
  gf_refine(scale_fill_viridis_c()) %>% 

Change colors – own color scale

I recommend against using own color schemes, at least not without taking great care.

gf_boxplot(hp ~ factor(am), 
           data = mtcars,
           fill = ~ factor(am)) %>% 
  gf_theme(theme_classic()) %>% 
  gf_refine(scale_fill_manual(values = c("red", "blue")))

Use hex (RGB) color codes instead of the color names:

gf_boxplot(hp ~ factor(am), 
           data = mtcars,
           fill = ~ factor(am)) %>% 
  gf_theme(theme_classic()) %>% 
  gf_refine(scale_fill_manual(values = c("#00FF11", "#123456"))) %>% 
  gf_refine(scale_x_discrete(labels = c("Some cars", "some other cars")),
            scale_y_continuous(breaks = c(70, 100, 300)))