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The c3 package is a wrapper, or htmlwidget, for the C3 javascript charting library by Masayuki Tanaka. You will find this package useful if you are wanting create a chart using R for embedding in a Rmarkdown document or Shiny App.

The C3 library is very versatile and includes a lot of options. Currently this package wraps most of the C3 options object. Even with this current limitation a wide range of options are available.


This package is under active development and will definitely change. All attempts will be made to maintain the functionality and methods demonstrated in this document.

Any suggestions, advice or requests are welcome. For any bugs (there will be bugs) please submit an issue.


You probably already guessed this bit.


# OR



Please note that this package is under active development and may change at any time. The plots that currently work are line (and varieties), bar and scatter plots. Where possible the package tries to emulate the Grammer of Graphics used in Hadley Wickham's ggplot2.

The c3 package is intended to be as simple and lightweight as possible. As a starting point the data input must be a data.frame with several options.

  • If a data.frame without any options is passed all of the numeric columns will be plotted. This can be used in line and bar plots. Each column is a line or bar.
  • For more complex plots only 3 columns are used, those defined as x, y and group. This requires a data.frame with a vertical structure.

The Basics

Where no options are supplied a simple line plot is produced by default. Where no x-axis is defined the plots are sequential. Date x-axis can be parsed with not additional setting if in the format %Y-%m-%d (ie '2014-01-01')


data <- data.frame(a = abs(rnorm(20) * 10),
                   b = abs(rnorm(20) * 10),
                   date = seq(as.Date("2014-01-01"), by = "month", length.out = 20))



The package also imports the magrittr piping function (%>%) to simplify syntax.

data %>% c3() 

Other Line Plots

There are 5 different line plots available:

  • line
  • spline
  • step
  • area
  • area-step


data %>%
  c3() %>%


data %>%
  c3(x = 'date') %>%

Bar Plots

data[1:10, ] %>%
  c3() %>%
  c3_bar(stacked = TRUE, 
         rotate = TRUE)

Mixed Geometry Plots

Mixed geometry currently only works with a horizontal data.frame where each numeric column is plotted.

data$c <- abs(rnorm(20) *10)
data$d <- abs(rnorm(20) *10)

data %>%
  c3() %>%
  c3_mixedGeom(type = 'bar', 
               stacked = c('b','d'),
               types = list(a='area',

Secondary Y Axis

To use a secondary Y axis columns must first be matched to an axis and then the secondary axis made visible.

data %>% 
  select(date, a, b) %>%
  c3(x = 'date',
     axes = list(a = 'y',
                 b = 'y2')) %>% 
  c3_mixedGeom(types = list(a = 'line',
                            b = 'area')) %>% 

Scatter Plot

iris %>%
  c3(x = 'Sepal_Length', 
     y = 'Sepal_Width', 
     group = 'Species') %>% 

Pie Charts

data.frame(sugar = 20,
           fat = 45,
           salt = 10) %>% 
  c3() %>% 

Donut Charts

data.frame(red = 82, green = 33, blue = 93) %>% 
  c3(colors = list(red = 'red',
                   green = 'green',
                   blue = 'blue')) %>% 
  c3_donut(title = '#d053ee')

Gauge Charts

data.frame(data = 80) %>% 
  c3() %>% 

Grid Lines & Annotation

data %>%
  c3() %>%
  grid('y') %>%
       show = F, 
       lines = data.frame(value = c(3, 10), 
                          text = c('Line 1','Line 2')))

Region Highlighting

To highlight regions pass a single data.frame with columns axis, start, end and class. Multiple regions can be defined within the one data.frame for any axis (x, y, y2). Each row in the data.frame defines a separate region to be highlighted

data %>%
  c3() %>%
  region(data.frame(axis = 'x',
                    start = 5,
                    end = 6))


data %>%
  c3(x = 'date') %>%

Color Palette

Plot color palettes can be changed to either RColorBrewer or viridis palettes using either RColorBrewer (S3 method) or c3_viridus.

data.frame(sugar = 20, 
           fat = 45, 
           salt = 10, 
           vegetables = 60) %>% 
  c3() %>% 
  c3_pie() %>%

data.frame(sugar = 20, 
           fat = 45, 
           salt = 10, 
           vegetables = 60) %>% 
  c3() %>% 
  c3_pie() %>%

On Click

Onclick, onmouseover and onmouseout are all available via the c3 function. To use wrap a js function as a character string to htmlwidgets::JS(). Please see the C3.js documentation and examples. The example below should be enough to get you started.

data %>% 
    c3(onclick = htmlwidgets::JS('function(d, element){console.log(d)}'))


C3 tooltips are readily modified with the use of javascript functions. For further detail see the C3.js documentation. Or for more advanced usage see the C3.js examples page.


data %>%
  c3() %>%
  tooltip(format = list(title = JS("function (x) { return 'Data ' + x; }"),
                        name = JS('function (name, ratio, id, index) { return name; }'),
                        value = JS('function (value, ratio, id, index) { return ratio; }')))

Point Size

data %>%
  c3(x = 'date') %>%
  point_options(r = 6, 
                expand.r = 2)

Bubble Plots

This is currently experimental and only works with numeric data in conjuction with c3_scatter.

data$c <- as.character(cut(data$a, c(0, quantile(data$a)), labels = c('a','b','c','d','e')))

data %>%
  c3(x = 'a', y = 'b', group = 'c') %>%
  c3_scatter() %>%
  point_options(r = data$a)

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