This article describes how to change ggplot axis labels (or axis title). This can be done easily using the R function
labs() or the functions
In this R graphics tutorial, you will learn how to:
- Remove the x and y axis labels to create a graph with no axis labels. For example to hide x axis labels, use this R code:
p + theme(axis.title.x = element_blank()).
- Change the font style of axis labels (size, color and face).
Key ggplot2 R functions
- Start by creating a box plot using the
library(ggplot2) p <- ggplot(ToothGrowth, aes(x = factor(dose), y = len)) + geom_boxplot()
- Change x and y axis labels as follow:
- p + xlab(“New X axis label”): Change the X axis label
- p + ylab(“New Y axis label”): Change the Y axis label
- p + labs(x = “New X axis label”, y = “New Y axis label”): Change both x and y axis labels
- Key ggplot2 theme options to change the font style of axis titles:
theme( axis.title = element_text(), # Change both x and y axis titles axis.title.x = element_text(), # Change x axis title only axis.title.x.top = element_text(), # For x axis label on top axis axis.title.y = element_text(), # Change y axis title only axis.title.y.right = element_text(), # For y axis label on right axis )
Arguments of the function
- color, size, face, family: to change the text font color, size, face (“plain”, “italic”, “bold”, “bold.italic”) and family.
- lineheight: change space between two lines of text elements. Number between 0 and 1. Useful for multi-line axis titles.
- hjust and vjust: number in [0, 1], for horizontal and vertical adjustment of axis titles, respectively.
hjust = 0.5: Center axis titles.
hjust = 1: Place axis titles on the right
hjust = 0: Place axis titles on the left
- To remove a particular axis title, use
element_text(), for the corresponding theme argument.
For example to remove all axis titles, use this:
p + theme(axis.title = element_blank()).
Change axis labels
# Default plot print(p) # Change axis labels p <- p + labs(x = "Dose (mg)", y = "Teeth length") p
Change label size, color and face
- Key functions:
- Allowed values for axis titles font face: “plain”, “italic”, “bold” and “bold.italic”
p + theme( axis.title.x = element_text(color = "blue", size = 14, face = "bold"), axis.title.y = element_text(color = "#993333", size = 14, face = "bold") )
Remove axis labels
Key function: use
element_blank() to suppress axis labels.
p + theme(axis.title.x = element_blank(), axis.title.y = element_blank())
Remove all axis titles at once:
p + theme(axis.title = element_blank())
Change a ggplot x and y axis titles as follow:
p + labs(x = " x labels", y = "y labels")+ theme( axis.title.x = element_text(size = 14, face = "bold"), axis.title.y = element_text(size = 14, face = "bold.italic") )
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