GGplot - Scale (Data Transformation)

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Scales control the mapping between data and aesthetics, and control the display of the matching guide (axis or legend)

Ex: Linear scaling of x and y axes (scales)

Ggplot Scale Coordinate System




  • Change name and range or limits
  • All scales take name as first argument
    • axis or legend name
    • can be an expression
  • All position scales also take limits argument
  • Any data outside of limits is not plotted (but is still used for computation)

Position scales

  • Can be used to plot on non-linear scales (scale_x_log10, scale_x_sqrt, …)
  • Can also control exactly where breaks occur (with breaks argument) and the amount of extra space on the borders (with the expand argument)


Colour/fill probably most commonly manipulated

  • discrete: hue, brewer, grey, manual
  • continuous: gradient, gradient2
  • identity




scale_x_continuous(NULL, breaks = NULL) + 
scale_y_continuous(NULL, breaks = NULL)


See scale in the doc

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