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This page aims to provide useful R code to custom the axis of your ggplot2 plots. More generally, the R graph gallery proposes 3 pages dedicated to the layout customisation: one concerning legends, one concerning background, and this one concerning axis.

Here we want to modify non data components, and it is often done trough the theme() command. This page is strongly inspired from the help page of ggplot2 (?theme). Also, do not hesitate to visit the awesome ggplot2 documentation for more information.

We start with this really basic plot relying on the mtcars dataset.




Now we can start the customisation. Let’s add a title, modify x-axis name and x-axis limit:


If we want to custom the axis names, we need to use axis.title inside a theme element. Note that you can apply the modification on both axis or on one only, using .x or .y:





To change the axis text, well use the axis.text argument.

The 3 last examples show how to 1/ modify ticks 2/ modify axis lines 3/ combine all the possible customization in the same plot.

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