ggplot2 Error in R: Insufficient values in manual scale. N needed but only M provided. (2 Examples)

This article demonstrates how to avoid the “Error: Insufficient values in manual scale. X needed but only Y provided.” in R.

Setting up the Examples

data(iris)                     # Example data
head(iris)
#   Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width Species
# 1          5.1         3.5          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 2          4.9         3.0          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 3          4.7         3.2          1.3         0.2  setosa
# 4          4.6         3.1          1.5         0.2  setosa
# 5          5.0         3.6          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 6          5.4         3.9          1.7         0.4  setosa
install.packages("ggplot2")    # Install ggplot2 package
library("ggplot2")             # Load ggplot2
my_plot <- ggplot(iris,        # Default colors
              aes(x = Species,
                  y = Petal.Length,
                  fill = Species)) +
  geom_boxplot()
my_plot

r graph figure 1 ggplot2 error r insufficient values manual scale n needed but only m provided

Example 1: Replicating the Error Message – Insufficient values in manual scale. 3 needed but only 2 provided.

my_plot +                      # Not enough colors
  scale_fill_manual(values = c("red",
                               "green"))
# Error: Insufficient values in manual scale. 3 needed but only 2 provided.

Example 2: Fixing the Error Message – Insufficient values in manual scale. 3 needed but only 2 provided.

my_plot +                      # Same amount of boxes & colors
  scale_fill_manual(values = c("red",
                               "green",
                               "orange"))

r graph figure 2 ggplot2 error r insufficient values manual scale n needed but only m provided

Further Resources & Related Tutorials

You may find some related R tutorials on topics such as coding errors, graphics in R, and ggplot2 below.

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