Skip to content

@hadley hadley released this Dec 18, 2015 · 1441 commits to master since this release

Major changes

  • ggplot no longer throws an error if you your plot has no layers. Instead it
    automatically adds geom_blank() (#1246).

  • New cut_width() is a convenient replacement for the verbose
    plyr::round_any(), with the additional benefit of offering finer

  • New geom_count() is a convenient alias to stat_sum(). Use it when you
    have overlapping points on a scatterplot. stat_sum() now defaults to
    using counts instead of proportions.

  • New geom_curve() adds curved lines, with a similar specification to
    geom_segment() (@veraanadi, #1088).

  • Date and datetime scales now have date_breaks, date_minor_breaks and
    date_labels arguments so that you never need to use the long
    scales::date_breaks() or scales::date_format().

  • geom_bar() now has it's own stat, distinct from stat_bin() which was
    also used by geom_histogram(). geom_bar() now uses stat_count()
    which counts values at each distinct value of x (i.e. it does not bin
    the data first). This can be useful when you want to show exactly which
    values are used in a continuous variable.

  • geom_point() gains a stroke aesthetic which controls the border width of
    shapes 21-25 (#1133, @SeySayux). size and stroke are additive so a point
    with size = 5 and stroke = 5 will have a diameter of 10mm. (#1142)

  • New position_nudge() allows you to slightly offset labels (or other
    geoms) from their corresponding points (#1109).

  • scale_size() now maps values to area, not radius. Use scale_radius()
    if you want the old behaviour (not recommended, except perhaps for lines).

  • New stat_summary_bin() works like stat_summary() but on binned data.
    It's a generalisation of stat_bin() that can compute any aggregate,
    not just counts (#1274). Both default to mean_se() if no aggregation
    functions are supplied (#1386).

  • Layers are now much stricter about their arguments - you will get an error
    if you've supplied an argument that isn't an aesthetic or a parameter.
    This is likely to cause some short-term pain but in the long-term it will make
    it much easier to spot spelling mistakes and other errors (#1293).

    This change does break a handful of geoms/stats that used ... to pass
    additional arguments on to the underlying computation. Now
    geom_smooth()/stat_smooth() and geom_quantile()/stat_quantile()
    use method.args instead (#1245, #1289); and stat_summary() (#1242),
    stat_summary_hex(), and stat_summary2d() use fun.args.


There is now an official mechanism for defining Stats, Geoms, and Positions in other packages. See vignette("extending-ggplot2") for details.

  • All Geoms, Stats and Positions are now exported, so you can inherit from them
    when making your own objects (#989).
  • ggplot2 no longer uses proto or reference classes. Instead, we now use
    ggproto, a new OO system designed specifically for ggplot2. Unlike proto
    and RC, ggproto supports clean cross-package inheritance. Creating a new OO
    system isn't usually the right way to solve a problem, but I'm pretty sure
    it was necessary here. Read more about it in the vignette.
  • aes_() replaces aes_q(). It also supports formulas, so the most concise
    SE version of aes(carat, price) is now aes_(~carat, ~price). You may
    want to use this form in packages, as it will avoid spurious R CMD check
    warnings about undefined global variables.


  • geom_text() has been overhauled to make labelling your data a little
    easier. It:
    • nudge_x and nudge_y arguments let you offset labels from their
      corresponding points (#1120).
    • check_overlap = TRUE provides a simple way to avoid overplotting
      of labels: labels that would otherwise overlap are omitted (#1039).
    • hjust and vjust can now be character vectors: "left", "center",
      "right", "bottom", "middle", "top". New options include "inward" and
      "outward" which align text towards and away from the center of the plot
  • geom_label() works like geom_text() but draws a rounded rectangle
    underneath each label (#1039). This is useful when you want to label plots
    that are dense with data.

Deprecated features

  • The little used aes_auto() has been deprecated.
  • aes_q() has been replaced with aes_() to be consistent with SE versions
    of NSE functions in other packages.
  • The order aesthetic is officially deprecated. It never really worked, and
    was poorly documented.
  • The stat and position arguments to qplot() have been deprecated.
    qplot() is designed for quick plots - if you need to specify position
    or stat, use ggplot() instead.
  • The theme setting axis.ticks.margin has been deprecated: now use the margin
    property of axis.ticks.
  • stat_abline(), stat_hline() and stat_vline() have been removed:
    these were never suitable for use other than with geom_abline() etc
    and were not documented.
  • show_guide has been renamed to show.legend: this more accurately
    reflects what it does (controls appearance of layer in legend), and uses the
    same convention as other ggplot2 arguments (i.e. a . between names).
    (Yes, I know that's inconsistent with function names with use _, but it's
    too late to change now.)

A number of geoms have been renamed to be internally consistent:

  • stat_binhex() and stat_bin2d() have been renamed to stat_bin_hex()
    and stat_bin_2d() (#1274). stat_summary2d() has been renamed to
    stat_summary_2d(), geom_density2d()/stat_density2d() has been renamed
    to geom_density_2d()/stat_density_2d().
  • stat_spoke() is now geom_spoke() since I realised it's a
    reparameterisation of `geom_segment().
  • stat_bindot() has been removed because it's so tightly coupled to
    geom_dotplot(). If you happened to use stat_bindot(), just change to
    geom_dotplot() (#1194).

All defunct functions have been removed.

Default appearance

  • The default theme_grey() background colour has been changed from "grey90"
    to "grey92": this makes the background a little less visually prominent.

  • Labels and titles have been tweaked for readability:

    • Axes labels are darker.
    • Legend and axis titles are given the same visual treatment.
    • The default font size dropped from 12 to 11. You might be surprised that
      I've made the default text size smaller as it was already hard for
      many people to read. It turns out there was a bug in RStudio (fixed in
      0.99.724), that shrunk the text of all grid based graphics. Once that
      was resolved the defaults seemed too big to my eyes.
    • More spacing between titles and borders.
    • Default margins scale with the theme font size, so the appearance at
      larger font sizes should be considerably improved (#1228).
  • alpha now affects both fill and colour aesthetics (#1371).

  • element_text() gains a margins argument which allows you to add additional
    padding around text elements. To help see what's going on use debug = TRUE
    to display the text region and anchors.

  • The default font size in geom_text() has been decreased from 5mm (14 pts)
    to 3.8 mm (11 pts) to match the new default theme sizes.

  • A diagonal line is no longer drawn on bar and rectangle legends. Instead, the
    border has been tweaked to be more visible, and more closely match the size of
    line drawn on the plot.

  • geom_pointrange() and geom_linerange() get vertical (not horizontal)
    lines in the legend (#1389).

  • The default line size for geom_smooth() has been increased from 0.5 to 1
    to make it easier to see when overlaid on data.

  • geom_bar() and geom_rect() use a slightly paler shade of grey so they
    aren't so visually heavy.

  • geom_boxplot() now colours outliers the same way as the boxes.

  • geom_point() now uses shape 19 instead of 16. This looks much better on
    the default Linux graphics device. (It's very slightly smaller than the old
    point, but it shouldn't affect any graphics significantly)

  • Sizes in ggplot2 are measured in mm. Previously they were converted to pts
    (for use in grid) by multiplying by 72 / 25.4. However, grid uses printer's
    points, not Adobe (big pts), so sizes are now correctly multiplied by
    72.27 / 25.4. This is unlikely to noticeably affect display, but it's
    technically correct (

  • The default legend will now allocate multiple rows (if vertical) or
    columns (if horizontal) in order to make a legend that is more likely to
    fit on the screen. You can override with the nrow/ncol arguments
    to guide_legend()

      p <- ggplot(mpg, aes(displ,hwy, colour = model)) + geom_point()
      p + theme(legend.position = "bottom")
      # Previous behaviour
      p + guides(colour = guide_legend(ncol = 1))

New and updated themes

  • New theme_void() is completely empty. It's useful for plots with non-
    standard coordinates or for drawings (@jiho, #976).
  • New theme_dark() has a dark background designed to make colours pop out
    (@jiho, #1018)
  • theme_minimal() became slightly more minimal by removing the axis ticks:
    labels now line up directly beneath grid lines (@tomschloss, #1084)
  • New theme setting panel.ontop (logical) make it possible to place
    background elements (i.e., gridlines) on top of data. Best used with
    transparent panel.background (@noamross. #551).


The facet labelling system was updated with many new features and a
more flexible interface (@lionel-). It now works consistently across
grid and wrap facets. The most important user visible changes are:

  • facet_wrap() gains a labeller option (#25).
  • facet_grid() and facet_wrap() gain a switch argument to
    display the facet titles near the axes. When switched, the labels
    become axes subtitles. switch can be set to "x", "y" or "both"
    (the latter only for grids) to control which margin is switched.

The labellers (such as label_value() or label_both()) also get
some new features:

  • They now offer the multi_line argument to control whether to
    display composite facets (those specified as ~var1 + var2) on one
    or multiple lines.

  • In label_bquote() you now refer directly to the names of
    variables. With this change, you can create math expressions that
    depend on more than one variable. This math expression can be
    specified either for the rows or the columns and you can also
    provide different expressions to each margin.

    As a consequence of these changes, referring to x in backquoted
    expressions is deprecated.

  • Similarly to label_bquote(), labeller() now take .rows and
    .cols arguments. In addition, it also takes .default.
    labeller() is useful to customise how particular variables are
    labelled. The three additional arguments specify how to label the
    variables are not specifically mentioned, respectively for rows,
    columns or both. This makes it especially easy to set up a
    project-wide labeller dispatcher that can be reused across all your
    plots. See the documentation for an example.

  • The new labeller label_context() adapts to the number of factors
    facetted over. With a single factor, it displays only the values,
    just as before. But with multiple factors in a composite margin
    (e.g. with ~cyl + am), the labels are passed over to
    label_both(). This way the variables names are displayed with the
    values to help identifying them.

On the programming side, the labeller API has been rewritten in order
to offer more control when facetting over multiple factors (e.g. with
formulae such as ~cyl + am). This also means that if you have
written custom labellers, you will need to update them for this
version of ggplot.

  • Previously, a labeller function would take variable and value
    arguments and return a character vector. Now, they take a data frame
    of character vectors and return a list. The input data frame has one
    column per factor facetted over and each column in the returned list
    becomes one line in the strip label. See documentation for more
  • The labels received by a labeller now contain metadata: their margin
    (in the "type" attribute) and whether they come from a wrap or a
    grid facet (in the "facet" attribute).
  • Note that the new as_labeller() function operator provides an easy
    way to transform an existing function to a labeller function. The
    existing function just needs to take and return a character vector.


  • Improved documentation for aes(), layer() and much much more.
  • I've tried to reduce the use of ... so that you can see all the
    documentation in one place rather than having to integrate multiple pages.
    In some cases this has involved adding additional arguments to geoms
    to make it more clear what you can do:
    • geom_smooth() gains explicit method, se and formula arguments.
    • geom_histogram() gains binwidth, bins, originandright`
    • geom_jitter() gains width and height arguments to make it easier
      to control the amount of jittering without using the lengthy
      position_jitter() function (#1116)
  • Use of qplot() in examples has been minimised (#1123, @hrbrmstr). This is
    inline with the 2nd edition of the ggplot2 box, which minimises the use of
    qplot() in favour of ggplot().
  • Tighly linked geoms and stats (e.g. geom_boxplot() and stat_boxplot())
    are now documented in the same file so you can see all the arguments in one
    place. Variations of the same idea (e.g. geom_path(), geom_line(), and
    geom_step()) are also documented together.
  • It's now obvious that you can set the binwidth parameter for
    stat_bin_hex(), stat_summary_hex(), stat_bin_2d(), and
  • The internals of positions have been cleaned up considerably. You're unlikely
    to notice any external changes, although the documentation should be a little
    less confusing since positions now don't list parameters they never use.


  • All datasets have class tbl_df so if you also use dplyr, you get a better
    print method.
  • economics has been brought up to date to 2015-04-01.
  • New economics_long is the economics data in long form.
  • New txhousing dataset containing information about the Texas housing
    market. Useful for examples that need multiple time series, and for
    demonstrating model+vis methods.
  • New luv_colours dataset which contains the locations of all
    built-in colors() in Luv space.
  • movies has been moved into its own package, ggplot2movies, because it was
    large and not terribly useful. If you've used the movies dataset, you'll now
    need to explicitly load the package with library(ggplot2movies).

Bug fixes and minor improvements

  • All partially matched arguments and $ have been been replaced with
    full matches (@jimhester, #1134).
  • ggplot2 now exports alpha() from the scales package (#1107), and arrow()
    and unit() from grid (#1225). This means you don't need attach scales/grid
    or do scales::/grid:: for these commonly used functions.
  • aes_string() now only parses character inputs. This fixes bugs when
    using it with numbers and non default OutDec settings (#1045).
  • annotation_custom() automatically adds a unique id to each grob name,
    making it easier to plot multiple grobs with the same name (e.g. grobs of
    ggplot2 graphics) in the same plot (#1256).
  • borders() now accepts xlim and ylim arguments for specifying the geographical
    region of interest (@markpayneatwork, #1392).
  • coord_cartesian() applies the same expansion factor to limits as for scales.
    You can suppress with expand = FALSE (#1207).
  • coord_trans() now works when breaks are suppressed (#1422).
  • cut_number() gives error message if the number of requested bins can
    be created because there are two few unique values (#1046).
  • Character labels in facet_grid() are no longer (incorrectly) coerced into
    factors. This caused problems with custom label functions (#1070).
  • facet_wrap() and facet_grid() now allow you to use non-standard
    variable names by surrounding them with backticks (#1067).
  • facet_wrap() more carefully checks its nrow and ncol arguments
    to ensure that they're specified correctly (@richierocks, #962)
  • facet_wrap() gains a dir argument to control the direction the
    panels are wrapped in. The default is "h" for horizontal. Use "v" for
    vertical layout (#1260).
  • geom_abline(), geom_hline() and geom_vline() have been rewritten to
    have simpler behaviour and be more consistent:
    • stat_abline(), stat_hline() and stat_vline() have been removed:
      these were never suitable for use other than with geom_abline() etc
      and were not documented.
    • geom_abline(), geom_vline() and geom_hline() are bound to
      stat_identity() and position_identity()
    • Intercept parameters can no longer be set to a function.
    • They are all documented in one file, since they are so closely related.
  • geom_bin2d() will now let you specify one dimension's breaks exactly,
    without touching the other dimension's default breaks at all (#1126).
  • geom_crossbar() sets grouping correctly so you can display multiple
    crossbars on one plot. It also makes the default fatten argument a little
    bigger to make the middle line more obvious (#1125).
  • geom_histogram() and geom_smooth() now only inform you about the
    default values once per layer, rather than once per panel (#1220).
  • geom_pointrange() gains fatten argument so you can control the
    size of the point relative to the size of the line.
  • geom_segment() annotations were not transforming with scales
    (@BrianDiggs, #859).
  • geom_smooth() is no longer so chatty. If you want to know what the deafult
    smoothing method is, look it up in the documentation! (#1247)
  • geom_violin() now has the ability to draw quantile lines (@DanRuderman).
  • ggplot() now captures the parent frame to use for evaluation,
    rather than always defaulting to the global environment. This should
    make ggplot more suitable to use in more situations (e.g. with knitr)
  • ggsave() has been simplified a little to make it easier to maintain.
    It no longer checks that you're printing a ggplot2 object (so now also
    works with any grid grob) (#970), and always requires a filename.
    Parameter device now supports character argument to specify which supported
    device to use ('pdf', 'png', 'jpeg', etc.), for when it cannot be correctly
    inferred from the file extension (for example when a temporary filename is
    supplied server side in shiny apps) (@sebkopf, #939). It no longer opens
    a graphics device if one isn't already open - this is annoying when you're
    running from a script (#1326).
  • guide_colorbar() creates correct legend if only one color (@krlmlr, #943).
  • guide_colorbar() no longer fails when the legend is empty - previously
    this often masked misspecifications elsewhere in the plot (#967).
  • New layer_data() function extracts the data used for plotting for a given
    layer. It's mostly useful for testing.
  • User supplied minor_breaks can now be supplied on the same scale as
    the data, and will be automatically transformed with by scale (#1385).
  • You can now suppress the appearance of an axis/legend title (and the space
    that would allocated for it) with NULL in the scale_ function. To
    use the default lable, use waiver() (#1145).
  • Position adjustments no longer warn about potentially varying ranges
    because the problem rarely occurs in practice and there are currently a
    lot of false positives since I don't understand exactly what FP criteria
    I should be testing.
  • scale_fill_grey() now uses red for missing values. This matches
    scale_colour_grey() and makes it obvious where missing values lie.
    Override with na.value.
  • scale_*_gradient2() defaults to using Lab colour space.
  • scale_*_gradientn() now allows colours or colors (#1290)
  • scale_y_continuous() now also transforms the lower, middle and upper
    aesthetics used by geom_boxplot(): this only affects
    geom_boxplot(stat = "identity") (#1020).
  • Legends no longer inherit aesthetics if inherit.aes is FALSE (#1267).
  • lims() makes it easy to set the limits of any axis (#1138).
  • labels = NULL now works with guide_legend() and guide_colorbar().
    (#1175, #1183).
  • override.aes now works with American aesthetic spelling, e.g. color
  • Scales no longer round data points to improve performance of colour
    palettes. Instead the scales package now uses a much faster colour
    interpolation algorithm (#1022).
  • scale_*_brewer() and scale_*_distiller() add new direction argument of
    scales::brewer_pal, making it easier to change the order of colours
    (@jiho, #1139).
  • scale_x_date() now clips dates outside the limits in the same way as
    scale_x_continuous() (#1090).
  • stat_bin() gains bins arguments, which denotes the number of bins. Now
    you can set bins=100 instead of binwidth=0.5. Note that breaks or
    binwidth will override it (@tmshn, #1158, #102).
  • stat_boxplot() warns if a continuous variable is used for the x aesthetic
    without also supplying a group aesthetic (#992, @krlmlr).
  • stat_summary_2d() and stat_bin_2d() now share exactly the same code for
    determining breaks from bins, binwidth, and origin.
  • stat_summary_2d() and stat_bin_2d() now output in tile/raster compatible
    form instead of rect compatible form.
  • Automatically computed breaks do not lead to an error for transformations like
    "probit" where the inverse can map to infinity (#871, @krlmlr)
  • stat_function() now always evaluates the function on the original scale.
    Previously it computed the function on transformed scales, giving incorrect
    values (@BrianDiggs, #1011).
  • strip_dots works with anonymous functions within calculated aesthetics
    (e.g. aes(sapply(..density.., function(x) mean(x)))) (#1154, @NikNakk)
  • theme() gains validate = FALSE parameter to turn off validation, and
    hence store arbitrary additional data in the themes. (@tdhock, #1121)
  • Improved the calculation of segments needed to draw the curve representing
    a line when plotted in polar coordinates. In some cases, the last segment
    of a multi-segment line was not drawn (@BrianDiggs, #952)
Assets 2