This article describes how to simulate colorblindness vision in production-ready R figures using the
colorblinr package. We’ll also present some colorblind-friendly palette.
In some populations, up to 10% of men have color vision deficiencies (cvd).
The R package colorblindr can be used to simulate colorblindness in R. At the time that we write this document (2018-11-20), this package depends on the development versions of
Install colorblindr and dependencies
This section shows how to install
colorblindr package and dependencies.
devtools, which makes it easy to install the developmental version of the other packages
# for windows use this install.packages("colorspace", repos = "http://R-Forge.R-project.org") # Or for MAC OS X /Linux, use this: URL <- paste0("http://download.r-forge.r-project.org/src/contrib/", "colorspace_1.4-0.tar.gz") devtools::install_url(URL)
Load required packages
library(ggplot2) library(cowplot) library(colorspace) library(colorblindr)
Key R functions
Key functions in the
colorblindr R package:
cvd_grid(): Create a grid of different color-vision-deficiency simulations of a plot.
edit_colors(): Edit colors in existing plot. Can modify colors in existing ggplot2 plots, grid objects, or R base plots provided as recorded plots.
scale_fill_OkabeIto(): This is a color-blind friendly, qualitative scale with eight different colors.
Create a basic ggplot
p <- ggplot(iris, aes(Species, Sepal.Length)) + geom_boxplot(aes(fill = Species)) + theme_minimal() + theme(legend.position = "none") p
cvd_grid() can be used to quickly show the most severe forms of each color vision deficiency.
It’s also possible to edit a plot as follow:
# Use deutan, protan or tritan functions [in colorspace] p2 <- edit_colors(p, deutan, sev = 0.7) cowplot::plot_grid(p, p2)
colorblindr package comes with a color scale that works better for people with color-vision deficiency. You can use it to modify a ggplot color.
For example, type this:
# Figure before cvd simulation p3 <- p + scale_fill_OkabeIto() p3
Figure after color-vision-deficiency simulation:
New workflow for figure and image design
- Make figures or images
- Check colors using
- Iterate color choices until colors are distinguishable in all conditions
This article introduces how to simulate colorblindness in production-ready figures using the R package
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