Reverse Y-Axis Scale of Base R & ggplot2 Graph (2 Examples)

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to exchange the axis limits of a graphic in the R programming language.

Setting up the Examples

data(iris)                         # Loading example data
head(iris)                         # Displaying data in RStudio console
#   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

Example 1: Reverse Y-Axis Scale in Graphic Using Base R

plot(x = iris$Sepal.Length,        # Regular axis
     y = iris$Sepal.Width)

r graph figure 1 reverse y axis scale base r ggplot2 graph

plot(x = iris$Sepal.Length,        # Reversed axis
     y = iris$Sepal.Width,
     ylim = rev(range(iris$Sepal.Width)))

r graph figure 2 reverse y axis scale base r ggplot2 graph

Example 2: Reverse Y-Axis Scale in Graphic Using the ggplot2 Package

install.packages("ggplot2")        # Install ggplot2 package
library("ggplot2")                 # Load ggplot2
my_plot <- ggplot(iris,            # Regular axis
              aes(x = Sepal.Length,
                  y = Sepal.Width)) +
  geom_point()
my_plot

r graph figure 3 reverse y axis scale base r ggplot2 graph

my_plot +                          # Reversed axis
  scale_y_reverse()

r graph figure 4 reverse y axis scale base r ggplot2 graph

Related Articles

Below, you can find some additional resources on topics such as graphics in R and ggplot2:

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