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ggplot2 cheatsheet

These are some of the most common things I want to do with ggplot2, but always forget the syntax (not helped when things are still evolving with each release!)

Titles, axis labels

  • main title
+ ggtitle("...")
  • set axis title (but see scale_x_continuous below)
+ xlab("...")
  • remove axis title, labels and tick marks (respectively)
+ theme(axis.title.x=element_blank(), 
  • make axis labels at a 45 degree angle
+ theme(axis.text.x = element_text(angle = 45, hjust = 1))
  • customize axis breaks and labels. title is optional, labels are optional and default to as.character(breaks)
scale_x_continuous("x axis title (optional)",
  • stretch axis to full width/length of plot


  • no legend
+ theme(legend.position="none")


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