by Guangming Lang
1 min read


  • r

Updated October 4, 2018

Do you love ggplot2? If you’ve worked with ggplot2 before, you know it often takes many lines of code to get a satisfying plot. The ggplot2 language has too many “words” and “expressions”, which are difficult to remember and time consuming to look up. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there’s a simpler tool? The answer is ezplot. It’s a package based off ggplot2 that allows user to create high quality ggplot2 charts with zero or minimal effort of customization. In this and the next few posts, I’ll demo how to use ezplot.


  1. Install a set of development tools
    • On Windows, download and install Rtools.
    • On Mac, install the Xcode command line tools.
    • On Linux, install the R development package, usually called r-devel or r-base-dev.
  2. Install devtools by running install.packages("devtools") in R.
  3. Install ezplot by running devtools::install_github("gmlang/ezplot") in R.

Load ezplot and dplyr


Generate some fake data

df = read.table(header=TRUE, text='
student grade
Joe 90
Mary 75
Alex 50')
df$pct = df$grade / sum(df$grade)
##   student grade       pct
## 1     Joe    90 0.4186047
## 2    Mary    75 0.3488372
## 3    Alex    50 0.2325581

Make simple bar chart

plt = mk_barplot_resp(df)
plt("student", "grade", label_decimals = 0) 


plt("student", "pct", show_pct = T) 


Generate some fake data again

df2 = read.table(header=TRUE, text='
group level val
A      small 1.8
A      medium 2.2
A      large 1.5
B      small 2.0
B      medium 2.6
B      large 1.0
C      small 2.5
C      medium 1.3
C      large 2.9')

Make dodged bar chart

# plot val 
plt = mk_barplot_resp(df2)
plt("group", "val", fillby = "level") 


# calc pct of val of each level within each group
dat = df2 %>% group_by(group) %>% mutate(pct = val / sum(val))

# plot pct
plt = mk_barplot_resp(dat)
plt("group", "pct", fillby = "level", show_pct = T)


I wrote ezplot to improve efficiency. Hope it can also help you. Drop a comment below if you have any questions.