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title: "Getting Started"
fig_width: 6
fig_height: 4
vignette: >
%\VignetteIndexEntry{Getting Started}
```{r, include = FALSE}
collapse = TRUE,
comment = "#>"
```{r setup}
Patchwork is a package designed to make plot composition in R extremely simple
and powerful. It is mainly intended for users of ggplot2 and goes to great
lengths to make sure ggplots are properly aligned no matter the complexity of
your composition.
In this tutorial we'll work through the basics of using patchwork. In the end
you'll have a fairly good understanding of the API, and will be ready to dive
into some of the more advanced topics covered in the other vignettes.
## Example plots
We'll start by creating some example plots to use throughout this tutorial:
p1 <- ggplot(mtcars) +
geom_point(aes(mpg, disp)) +
ggtitle('Plot 1')
p2 <- ggplot(mtcars) +
geom_boxplot(aes(gear, disp, group = gear)) +
ggtitle('Plot 2')
p3 <- ggplot(mtcars) +
geom_point(aes(hp, wt, colour = mpg)) +
ggtitle('Plot 3')
p4 <- ggplot(mtcars) +
geom_bar(aes(gear)) +
facet_wrap(~cyl) +
ggtitle('Plot 4')
These plots are fairly meaningless and only serve to illustrate plot
composition - don't read anything into the resulting plots.
## Basic use
The absolute simplest use is the extension of the `+` operator used in ggplot2,
to allow adding plots together:
p1 + p2
when adding plots together, the last added plot will be the active one, and will
receive any addition of new ggplot2 objects such as geoms, labels, etc:
p1 + p2 + labs(subtitle = 'This will appear in the last plot')
## Controlling layout
By default, patchwork will try to keep the grid square, and fill it out in row
p1 + p2 + p3 + p4
This can be controlled with the addition of a `plot_layout()`
p1 + p2 + p3 + p4 + plot_layout(nrow = 3, byrow = FALSE)
`plot_layout()` have all sorts of amazing features for controlling the layout of
your composition. See the *Layout* vignette for a full rundown of all its
## Stacking and packing plots
Often you want to place plots on top of each other, or beside each other, rather
than fill out a grid. While this can be accomplished by adding a one-row or
one-column layout, patchwork also provides two operators that does this directly
and further provides visual cues to the layout. `|` will place the plots beside
each other, while `/` will stack them:
p1 / p2
as patchworks can be nested, these two operators are often enough to create
rather complex layouts:
p1 | (p2 / p3)
## Annotating the composition
It is often necessary to add titles, captions, tags, etc. to a composition. This
can be achieved by adding a `plot_annotation()` to the patchwork:
(p1 | (p2 / p3)) +
plot_annotation(title = 'The surprising story about mtcars')
patchwork also provides auto-tagging capabilities, in order to identify subplots
in text:
p1 + p2 + p3 +
plot_annotation(tag_levels = 'I')
The tagging can be either arabic or roman numbers, or latin letters, and
separate tags can be given for different nesting levels. See the *Annotation*
vignette for more information.
## Want more?
This is enough to get you started, but we have only scratched the surface of what
patchwork is capable of. Look into the other guides to find out more about, e.g.
how to
[collect all legends in one place and remove duplicates](
or [aligning plots across multiple pages](