D-Lab workshop on R Graphics (base and ggplot2)
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R Graphics

This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of graphics in R, including base graphics and ggplot2. Participants will learn how to construct, customize, and export a variety of plot types in order to visualize relationships in data. We will also explore the basic grammar of graphics, including the aesthetics and geometry layers, adding statistics, transforming scales, and coloring or panelling by groups.

Prior knowledge: Previous experience with (basic) R is assumed.

Offered: UC Berkeley D-Lab, August 23, 2016


To participate in this workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser. I recommend Google Chrome.

Once you've installed all of the software below, test your installation by following the instructions at the bottom on this page.

R and RStudio

R is a programming language that is especially powerful for data exploration, visualization, and statistical analysis. To interact with R, we use RStudio.


Install R by downloading and running this .exe file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE.

Mac OS X

Install R by downloading and running this .pkg file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE.


You can download the binary files for your distribution from CRAN. Or you can use your package manager (e.g. for Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install r-base and for Fedora run sudo yum install R). Also, please install the RStudio IDE.


Download and unpack the zip-file of the materials by clicking on this link: https://github.com/rochelleterman/r-graphics/archive/master.zip

Testing your installation

Find the Tutorial.Rmd file in the directory you just downloaded and open it in RStudio. If all goes well, RStudio should launch and you should see the tutorial.

Software Carpentry maintains a list of common issues that occur during installation may be useful for our class here: Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

Credit: Thanks to Software Carpentry for providing installation guidelines.