GGPLOT DATE AXIS CUSTOMIZATION
This article describes how to format ggplot date axis using the R functions scale_x_date() and scale_y_date().
In this R graphics tutorial, you’ll learn how to:
- Change date axis labels using different combinations of days, weeks, months, year
- Modify date axis limits.
- Key ggplot2 R functions
- Time series data
- Create a simple ggplot with date axis
- Format date axis labels: scale_x_date
- Set date axis limits
Key ggplot2 R functions
scale_y_date(date_labels, limits): Format date axes
scale_x_datetime(date-labels, limits)and `scale_y_datetime(date_labels, limits): Format a datetime axis
Time series data
Create some time series data sets:
set.seed(1234) last_month <- Sys.Date() - 0:29 df <- data.frame( date = last_month, price = runif(30) ) head(df)
## date price ## 1 2018-11-13 0.114 ## 2 2018-11-12 0.622 ## 3 2018-11-11 0.609 ## 4 2018-11-10 0.623 ## 5 2018-11-09 0.861 ## 6 2018-11-08 0.640
Create a simple ggplot with date axis
library(ggplot2) p <- ggplot(data=df, aes(x = date, y = price)) + geom_line() p
Format date axis labels: scale_x_date
To format date axis labels, you can use different combinations of days, weeks, months and years:
- Weekday name: use
%Afor abbreviated and full weekday name, respectively
- Month name: use
%Bfor abbreviated and full month name, respectively
%d: day of the month as decimal number
%U: week of the year as decimal number (00–53)
%Y: Year with century.
- See more options in the documentation of the function
# Format : month/day p + scale_x_date(date_labels = "%b/%d") # Format : Week p + scale_x_date(date_labels = "%U") # Months only p + scale_x_date(date_labels = "%B")+ theme(axis.text.x = element_text(angle=45, hjust = 1))
Set date axis limits
economics time series data sets [in ggplot2]:
data("economics") # Base plot with date axis p <- ggplot(data = economics, aes(x = date, y = psavert)) + geom_line(color = "steelblue") p # Set axis limits c(min, max) min <- as.Date("2002-1-1") max <- NA p + scale_x_date(limits = c(min, max))
To change the format of data axis labels, first read the help page of the R base function
strptime() to see the available date format.
Then, use the following example of R code:
p + scale_x_date(date_labels = "%b/%d")
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