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Set Axis Breaks of ggplot2 Plot in R

  • Last Updated : 23 Aug, 2021

In this article, we are going to see how to set axis break of ggplot2 plot in R Programming Language. 

To add axis breaks in ggplot2 plots in R, we use scale_x_break() and scale_y_break() functions. These functions take a vector as a parameter that has breakpoints.  If we need multiple breakpoints we can add those too.

Syntax:

scale_x_continuous(breaks = <break-vec>) 

scale_y_continuous(breaks = <break-vec>) 



Example 1: Specify X-Axis Ticks in ggplot2 Plot

Here is a ggplot2 scatter plot with x-axis break using scale_x_continuous() function. This function has a breaks parameter that takes a vector as input which has all the points of axis break as vector points. So, here we can set the axis breaks point to a plot manually.

Code:

R




# Create sample data
set.seed(5642)   
sample_data <- data.frame(x = rnorm(1000),        
                    y = rnorm(1000))
# Load ggplot2 and ggbreak
library("ggplot2"
library("ggbreak"
  
# create plot with axis break
ggplot(sample_data, aes(x = x, y = y)) 
+ geom_point() + scale_x_continuous(breaks = c(-1,0, 1))

Output:

Example 2: Specify Y-Axis Ticks in ggplot2 Plot

Here is a ggplot2 scatter plot with y-axis break using the scale_y_continuous() function. This function has a breaks parameter that takes a vector as input which has all the points of y-axis break as vector points. So, here we can set the axis breaks point to a plot manually.

R




# Create sample data
set.seed(5642)   
sample_data <- data.frame(x = rnorm(1000),        
                    y = rnorm(1000))
# Load ggplot2 and ggbreak
library("ggplot2"
library("ggbreak"
  
# create plot with axis break
ggplot(sample_data, aes(x = x, y = y)) 
+ geom_point() + scale_y_continuous(breaks = c(-2, -1, 0, 1))

Output:



Example 3: Specifying Sequence of Axis Ticks in ggplot2 Plot

To specify the sequence of axis ticks we use the seq function as a parameter to breaks the property of scale_x_continuous / scale_y_continuous instead of vector. Here instead of giving input as a vector, we give input as a sequence that has three points, the first is starting break, the second is ending break and the third one is break period between starting and ending break.

Syntax: plot+ scale_x_continuous(breaks = <seq-vec>) / scale_y_continuous(breaks = <seq-vec>) 

Code:

R




# Create sample data
set.seed(5642)   
sample_data <- data.frame(x = rnorm(1000),        
                    y = rnorm(1000))
  
# Load ggplot2 and ggbreak
library("ggplot2"
library("ggbreak"
  
# create plot with axis break
ggplot(sample_data, aes(x = x, y = y)) 
+ geom_point() + scale_x_continuous(breaks = seq(-3, 4, 0.2))

Output:




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