ggplot2 (version 2.2.1) Add components to a plot


+ is the key to constructing sophisticated ggplot2 graphics. It allows you to start simple, then get more and more complex, checking your work at each step.


"+"(e1, e2)
e1 %+% e2


An object of class ggplot or a theme.
A plot component, as described below.

What can you add?

You can add any of the following types of objects:
  • A aes() objects replaces the default aesthetics.
  • A layer created by a geom_ or stat_ function adds new layer.
  • A scale overrides the existing scale.
  • A theme modifies the current theme.
  • A coord overrides current coordinate system.
  • A facet specificatio override current faceting.
To replace the current default data frame, you must use %+%, due to S3 method precedence issues. You can also supply a list, in which case each element of the list will be added in turn.

See Also



Run this code
base <- ggplot(mpg, aes(displ, hwy)) + geom_point()
base + geom_smooth()

# To override the data, you must use %+%
base %+% subset(mpg, fl == "p")

# Alternatively, you can add multiple components with a list.
# This can be useful to return from a function.
base + list(subset(mpg, fl == "p"), geom_smooth())

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