Reorder the children of a gTree

Change the order in which the children of a gTree get drawn.

grid.reorder(gPath, order, back=TRUE, grep=FALSE, redraw=TRUE)
reorderGrob(x, order, back=TRUE)

A gPath object specifying a gTree within the current scene.


A gTree object to be modified.


A character vector or a numeric vector that specifies the new drawing order for the children of the gTree. May not refer to all children of the gTree (see Details).


Controls what happens when the order does not specify all children of the gTree (see Details).


Should the gPath be treated as a regular expression?


Should the modified scene be redrawn?


In the simplest case, order specifies a new ordering for all of the children of the gTree. The children may be specified either by name or by existing numerical order.

If the order does not specify all children of the gTree then, by default, the children specified by order are drawn first and then all remaining children are drawn. If back=FALSE then the children not specified in order are drawn first, followed by the specified children. This makes it easy to specify a send-to-back or bring-to-front reordering. The order argument is always in back-to-front order.

It is not possible to reorder the grid display list (the top-level grobs in the current scene) because the display list is a mixture of grobs and viewports (so it is not clear what reordering even means and it would be too easy to end up with a scene that would not draw). If you want to reorder the grid display list, try grid.grab() to create a gTree and then reorder (and redraw) that gTree.


grid.reorder() is called for its side-effect of modifying the current scene. reorderGrob() returns the modified gTree.


This function may return a gTree that will not draw. For example, a gTree has two children, A and B (in that order), and the width of child B depends on the width of child A (e.g., a box around a piece of text). Switching the order so that B is drawn before A will not allow B to be drawn. If this happens with grid.reorder(), the modification will not be performed. If this happens with reorderGrob() it should be possible simply to restore the original order.

  • grid.reorder
  • reorderGrob
library(grid) # gTree with two children, "red-rect" and "blue-rect" (in that order) gt <- gTree(children=gList( rectGrob(gp=gpar(col=NA, fill="red"), width=.8, height=.2, name="red-rect"), rectGrob(gp=gpar(col=NA, fill="blue"), width=.2, height=.8, name="blue-rect")), name="gt") grid.newpage() grid.draw(gt) # Spec entire order as numeric (blue-rect, red-rect) grid.reorder("gt", 2:1) # Spec entire order as character grid.reorder("gt", c("red-rect", "blue-rect")) # Only spec the one I want behind as character grid.reorder("gt", "blue-rect") # Only spec the one I want in front as character grid.reorder("gt", "blue-rect", back=FALSE)
Documentation reproduced from package grid, version 3.4.1, License: Part of R 3.4.1

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