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Allow specifying specific order of stack in stacked charts #1734

kanitw opened this Issue Nov 29, 2016 · 2 comments


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kanitw commented Nov 29, 2016

We currently do not have a way to specify manual order of stacking group (e.g., color or detail channel) in stacked charts.

Note: As seen in #1732 (comment), users might expect that color's scale domain also affect how stack is ordered.

For example, in the following spec.

  "data": {
    "url": ""
  "config": {
    "mark": {
      "stacked": "normalize"
  "encoding": {
    "color": {
      "field": "license",
      "scale": {
        "domain": [
          "CC BY",
          "CC BY-ND",
          "CC BY-NC",
          "CC BY-NC-ND",
        "type": "ordinal"
      "type": "nominal"
    "x": {
      "axis": {
        "axisWidth": 0.0,
        "format": "%Y",
        "labelAngle": 0.0,
        "tickSize": 0.0
      "field": "date",
      "scale": {
        "nice": "month"
      "timeUnit": "yearmonth",
      "title": " ",
      "type": "temporal"
    "y": {
      "aggregate": "count",
      "axis": {
        "axisWidth": 0.0,
        "grid": false,
        "labels": false,
        "ticks": 0.0
      "field": "*",
      "title": "Proportion of Preprints",
      "type": "quantitative"
  "mark": "area"

The scale domain only determines how the domain values are mapped to first 5 color in the default color palette, but does not affect order of the stacking.



  • design how we support manual order for stacking

    • Under the hood, one possible way to do this is to add a formula transform that add index for each domain value and use the index as sortby of stack transform.
    • syntax
  • decide if we want to use color/size/detail's sort by default.

cc: @dhimmel

@kanitw kanitw added this to the 2.0.0-pre Important Feature & Patches milestone Nov 29, 2016


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kanitw commented Nov 29, 2016


A workaround for now would be to use calculate to derive a new field and map the field to order channel. See


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kanitw commented Nov 29, 2016

Potential Syntax

One potential syntax would be to make stack grouping channel (color/opacity/size/detail) supports sort as array of values for custom ordering and then make stack order depends on the grouping channel's order too.

cc: @domoritz, @arvind

dhimmel added a commit to dhimmel/biorxiv-licenses that referenced this issue Nov 29, 2016

@kanitw kanitw modified the milestones: 2.x.x Features & Patches, 2.0.0-pre Important Feature & Patches Jan 16, 2017

@kanitw kanitw closed this Aug 23, 2017

@kanitw kanitw reopened this Mar 18, 2018

@phivk phivk referenced this issue Mar 18, 2018


Make facet support `sort` #2176

0 of 10 tasks complete

@kanitw kanitw modified the milestones: 2.x.x Other Features & Patches, 2.x Visual Encoding Patches, 2.x Data & Transforms Patches May 9, 2018

@invokesus invokesus referenced this issue May 18, 2018


Add Stack Transform #3771

1 of 8 tasks complete

@kanitw kanitw assigned invokesus and unassigned sirahd May 31, 2018

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