Polygon Drawing

polygon draws the polygons whose vertices are given in x and y.

polygon(x, y = NULL, density = NULL, angle = 45, border = NULL, col = NA, lty = par("lty"), ..., fillOddEven = FALSE)
x, y
vectors containing the coordinates of the vertices of the polygon.
the density of shading lines, in lines per inch. The default value of NULL means that no shading lines are drawn. A zero value of density means no shading nor filling whereas negative values and NA suppress shading (and so allow color filling).
the slope of shading lines, given as an angle in degrees (counter-clockwise).
the color for filling the polygon. The default, NA, is to leave polygons unfilled, unless density is specified. (For back-compatibility, NULL is equivalent to NA.) If density is specified with a positive value this gives the color of the shading lines.
the color to draw the border. The default, NULL, means to use par("fg"). Use border = NA to omit borders.

For compatibility with S, border can also be logical, in which case FALSE is equivalent to NA (borders omitted) and TRUE is equivalent to NULL (use the foreground colour),

the line type to be used, as in par.
graphical parameters such as xpd, lend, ljoin and lmitre can be given as arguments.
logical controlling the polygon shading mode: see below for details. Default FALSE.

The coordinates can be passed in a plotting structure (a list with x and y components), a two-column matrix, .... See xy.coords.

It is assumed that the polygon is to be closed by joining the last point to the first point.

The coordinates can contain missing values. The behaviour is similar to that of lines, except that instead of breaking a line into several lines, NA values break the polygon into several complete polygons (including closing the last point to the first point). See the examples below.

When multiple polygons are produced, the values of density, angle, col, border, and lty are recycled in the usual manner.

Shading of polygons is only implemented for linear plots: if either axis is on log scale then shading is omitted, with a warning.


Self-intersecting polygons may be filled using either the “odd-even” or “non-zero” rule. These fill a region if the polygon border encircles it an odd or non-zero number of times, respectively. Shading lines are handled internally by R according to the fillOddEven argument, but device-based solid fills depend on the graphics device. The windows, pdf and postscript devices have their own fillOddEven argument to control this.


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

Murrell, P. (2005) R Graphics. Chapman & Hall/CRC Press.

See Also

segments for even more flexibility, lines, rect, box, abline.

par for how to specify colors.

  • polygon
library(graphics) x <- c(1:9, 8:1) y <- c(1, 2*(5:3), 2, -1, 17, 9, 8, 2:9) op <- par(mfcol = c(3, 1)) for(xpd in c(FALSE, TRUE, NA)) { plot(1:10, main = paste("xpd =", xpd)) box("figure", col = "pink", lwd = 3) polygon(x, y, xpd = xpd, col = "orange", lty = 2, lwd = 2, border = "red") } par(op) n <- 100 xx <- c(0:n, n:0) yy <- c(c(0, cumsum(stats::rnorm(n))), rev(c(0, cumsum(stats::rnorm(n))))) plot (xx, yy, type = "n", xlab = "Time", ylab = "Distance") polygon(xx, yy, col = "gray", border = "red") title("Distance Between Brownian Motions") # Multiple polygons from NA values # and recycling of col, border, and lty op <- par(mfrow = c(2, 1)) plot(c(1, 9), 1:2, type = "n") polygon(1:9, c(2,1,2,1,1,2,1,2,1), col = c("red", "blue"), border = c("green", "yellow"), lwd = 3, lty = c("dashed", "solid")) plot(c(1, 9), 1:2, type = "n") polygon(1:9, c(2,1,2,1,NA,2,1,2,1), col = c("red", "blue"), border = c("green", "yellow"), lwd = 3, lty = c("dashed", "solid")) par(op) # Line-shaded polygons plot(c(1, 9), 1:2, type = "n") polygon(1:9, c(2,1,2,1,NA,2,1,2,1), density = c(10, 20), angle = c(-45, 45))
Documentation reproduced from package graphics, version 3.0.3, License: Part of R 3.0.3

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