Parameter | Details |
---|---|

`x` | x-axis variable. May supply either `data$variablex` or `data[,x]` |

`y` | y-axis variable. May supply either `data$variabley` or `data[,y]` |

`main` | Main title of plot |

`sub` | Optional subtitle of plot |

`xlab` | Label for x-axis |

`ylab` | Label for y-axis |

`pch` | Integer or character indicating plotting symbol |

`col` | Integer or string indicating color |

`type` | Type of plot. `"p"` for points, `"l"` for lines, `"b"` for both, `"c"` for the lines part alone of `"b"` , `"o"` for both ‘overplotted’, `"h"` for ‘histogram’-like (or ‘high-density’) vertical lines, `"s"` for stair steps, `"S"` for other steps, `"n"` for no plotting |

The items listed in the "Parameters" section is a small fraction of hte possible parameters that can be modified or set by the `par`

function. See `par`

for a more complete list. In addition all the graphics devices, including the system specific interactive graphics devices will have a set of parameters that can customize the output.

A basic plot is created by calling `plot()`

. Here we use the built-in `cars`

data frame that contains the speed of cars and the distances taken to stop in the 1920s. (To find out more about the dataset, use help(cars)).

```
plot(x = cars$speed, y = cars$dist, pch = 1, col = 1,
main = "Distance vs Speed of Cars",
xlab = "Speed", ylab = "Distance")
```

We can use many other variations in the code to get the same result. We can also change the parameters to obtain different results.

```
with(cars, plot(dist~speed, pch = 2, col = 3,
main = "Distance to stop vs Speed of Cars",
xlab = "Speed", ylab = "Distance"))
```

Additional features can be added to this plot by calling `points()`

, `text()`

, `mtext()`

, `lines()`

, `grid()`

, etc.

```
plot(dist~speed, pch = "*", col = "magenta", data=cars,
main = "Distance to stop vs Speed of Cars",
xlab = "Speed", ylab = "Distance")
mtext("In the 1920s.")
grid(,col="lightblue")
```

`matplot`

is useful for quickly plotting multiple sets of observations from the same object, particularly from a matrix, on the same graph.

Here is an example of a matrix containing four sets of random draws, each with a different mean.

```
xmat <- cbind(rnorm(100, -3), rnorm(100, -1), rnorm(100, 1), rnorm(100, 3))
head(xmat)
# [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4]
# [1,] -3.072793 -2.53111494 0.6168063 3.780465
# [2,] -3.702545 -1.42789347 -0.2197196 2.478416
# [3,] -2.890698 -1.88476126 1.9586467 5.268474
# [4,] -3.431133 -2.02626870 1.1153643 3.170689
# [5,] -4.532925 0.02164187 0.9783948 3.162121
# [6,] -2.169391 -1.42699116 0.3214854 4.480305
```

One way to plot all of these observations on the same graph is to do one `plot`

call followed by three more `points`

or `lines`

calls.

```
plot(xmat[,1], type = 'l')
lines(xmat[,2], col = 'red')
lines(xmat[,3], col = 'green')
lines(xmat[,4], col = 'blue')
```

However, this is both tedious, and causes problems because, among other things, by default the axis limits are fixed by `plot`

to fit only the first column.

Much more convenient in this situation is to use the `matplot`

function, which only requires one call and automatically takes care of axis limits *and* changing the aesthetics for each column to make them distinguishable.

```
matplot(xmat, type = 'l')
```

Note that, by default, `matplot`

varies both color (`col`

) and linetype (`lty`

) because this increases the number of possible combinations before they get repeated. However, any (or both) of these aesthetics can be fixed to a single value...

```
matplot(xmat, type = 'l', col = 'black')
```

...or a custom vector (which will recycle to the number of columns, following standard R vector recycling rules).

```
matplot(xmat, type = 'l', col = c('red', 'green', 'blue', 'orange'))
```

Standard graphical parameters, including `main`

, `xlab`

, `xmin`

, work exactly the same way as for `plot`

. For more on those, see `?par`

.

Like `plot`

, if given only one object, `matplot`

assumes it's the `y`

variable and uses the indices for `x`

. However, `x`

and `y`

can be specified explicitly.

```
matplot(x = seq(0, 10, length.out = 100), y = xmat, type='l')
```

In fact, both `x`

and `y`

can be matrices.

```
xes <- cbind(seq(0, 10, length.out = 100),
seq(2.5, 12.5, length.out = 100),
seq(5, 15, length.out = 100),
seq(7.5, 17.5, length.out = 100))
matplot(x = xes, y = xmat, type = 'l')
```

Histograms allow for a pseudo-plot of the underlying distribution of the data.

```
hist(ldeaths)
```

```
hist(ldeaths, breaks = 20, freq = F, col = 3)
```

It's often useful to combine multiple plot types in one graph (for example a Barplot next to a Scatterplot.) R makes this easy with the help of the functions `par()`

and `layout()`

.

`par()`

`par`

uses the arguments `mfrow`

or `mfcol`

to create a matrix of nrows and ncols `c(nrows, ncols)`

which will serve as a grid for your plots. The following example shows how to combine four plots in one graph:

```
par(mfrow=c(2,2))
plot(cars, main="Speed vs. Distance")
hist(cars$speed, main="Histogram of Speed")
boxplot(cars$dist, main="Boxplot of Distance")
boxplot(cars$speed, main="Boxplot of Speed")
```

`layout()`

The `layout()`

is more flexible and allows you to specify the location and the extent of each plot within the final combined graph. This function expects a matrix object as an input:

```
layout(matrix(c(1,1,2,3), 2,2, byrow=T))
hist(cars$speed, main="Histogram of Speed")
boxplot(cars$dist, main="Boxplot of Distance")
boxplot(cars$speed, main="Boxplot of Speed")
```

A very useful and logical follow-up to histograms would be to plot the smoothed density function of a random variable. A basic plot produced by the command

```
plot(density(rnorm(100)),main="Normal density",xlab="x")
```

would look like

You can overlay a histogram and a density curve with

```
x=rnorm(100)
hist(x,prob=TRUE,main="Normal density + histogram")
lines(density(x),lty="dotted",col="red")
```

which gives

A very useful and logical follow-up to histograms and density plots would be the Empirical Cumulative Distribution Function. We can use the function `ecdf()`

for this purpose. A basic plot produced by the command

```
plot(ecdf(rnorm(100)),main="Cumulative distribution",xlab="x")
```

**Scatterplot**

*You have two vectors and you want to plot them.*

```
x_values <- rnorm(n = 20 , mean = 5 , sd = 8) #20 values generated from Normal(5,8)
y_values <- rbeta(n = 20 , shape1 = 500 , shape2 = 10) #20 values generated from Beta(500,10)
```

If you want to make a plot which has the `y_values`

in vertical axis and the `x_values`

in horizontal axis, you can use the following commands:

```
plot(x = x_values, y = y_values, type = "p") #standard scatter-plot
plot(x = x_values, y = y_values, type = "l") # plot with lines
plot(x = x_values, y = y_values, type = "n") # empty plot
```

You can type `?plot()`

in the console to read about more options.

**Boxplot**

*You have some variables and you want to examine their Distributions*

```
#boxplot is an easy way to see if we have some outliers in the data.
z<- rbeta(20 , 500 , 10) #generating values from beta distribution
z[c(19 , 20)] <- c(0.97 , 1.05) # replace the two last values with outliers
boxplot(z) # the two points are the outliers of variable z.
```

**Histograms**

*Easy way to draw histograms*

```
hist(x = x_values) # Histogram for x vector
hist(x = x_values, breaks = 3) #use breaks to set the numbers of bars you want
```

**Pie_charts**

*If you want to visualize the frequencies of a variable just draw pie*

First we have to generate data with frequencies, for example :

```
P <- c(rep('A' , 3) , rep('B' , 10) , rep('C' , 7) )
t <- table(P) # this is a frequency matrix of variable P
pie(t) # And this is a visual version of the matrix above
```

This modified text is an extract of the original Stack Overflow Documentation created by following contributors and released under CC BY-SA 3.0

This website is not affiliated with Stack Overflow

Email: [email protected]