Avoid Overlap of Text Labels in ggplot2 Plot in R (Example)
This article illustrates how to remove overlap for geom_text labels in a ggplot2 graphic in the R programming language.
Table of contents:
You’re here for the answer, so let’s get straight to the example.
Example Data, Add-On Packages & Default Plot
Have a look at the following example data:
set.seed(77358647) # Set seed data <- data.frame(x = rnorm(30), # Create example data y = rnorm(30), label = paste0("L", 1:30)) head(data) # Print head of example data
Table 1 shows the head of the example data: Furthermore, it gets visible that our data consists of three columns. The variables x and y have the numeric class and the variable label is a character.
We also need to install and load the ggplot2 package, in order to apply the functions that are contained in the package:
install.packages("ggplot2") # Install & load ggplot2 library("ggplot2")
Now, we can draw our data as follows.
ggplot(data) + # Draw ggplot2 plot with labels geom_text(aes(x, y, label = label))
After running the previous R programming syntax the ggplot2 plot with labels shown in Figure 1 has been drawn.
As you can see, some of the text labels created with the geom_text function are overlapping.
Next, I’ll show how to change that!
Example: Avoid Overlap of ggplot2 Text Labels Using geom_text_repel() Function of ggrepel Package
In this example, I’ll demonstrate how to remove the overlap from text labels in a ggplot2 plot.
We first need to install and load the ggrepel package, to be able to use the functions that are included in the package:
install.packages("ggrepel") # Install ggrepel package library("ggrepel") # Load ggrepel package
In the next step, we can use the geom_text_repel function instead of the geom_text function to avoid any text label overlap:
ggplot(data) + # Draw labels without overlap geom_text_repel(aes(x, y, label = label))
As shown in Figure 2, we have created a new ggplot2 plot where none of the text labels are overlapping.
Video, Further Resources & Summary
Do you need further info on the R programming codes of this tutorial? Then I can recommend having a look at the following video instruction on my YouTube channel. In the video, I’m showing the topics of this article:
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Furthermore, you might have a look at the other RStudio tutorials on my website. You can find a selection of articles that are related to the removal of overlap for geom_text labels in a ggplot2 graphic below.
- Add Bold & Italic Text to ggplot2 Plot
- Change Labels of ggplot2 Facet Plot
- Wrap Long Axis Labels of ggplot2 Plot into Multiple Lines
- Adjust Space Between ggplot2 Axis Labels and Plot Area
- Graphics Overview in R
- All R Programming Examples
This tutorial has shown how to avoid overlap for geom_text labels in a ggplot2 plot in the R programming language. Please let me know in the comments, if you have further comments or questions. In addition, please subscribe to my email newsletter for updates on the newest tutorials.
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