Prevent Long Axis Labels from being Cut Off in plotly Graph in R (Example)

 

Hi again! You are welcome to another interesting tutorial from Statistics Globe. In this one, I will show you how to prevent long axis labels from being cut off in plotly graphs using the R programming language.

But first, here is a quick overview of this tutorial:

Let’s now get right into it!

 

Install plotly Library

To use the R plotly library, we must first download and install it. If you do not have plotly already installed in your R programming environment, then please run the line of code below in either the R Studio IDE or in any other preferred code editor or IDE that can run R to install it; otherwise, you may skip this part:

install.packages("plotly")

Plotly and all its dependencies will now be installed in your R environment.
 

Load plotly Library

Having downloaded and installed plotly, it needs to be loaded so that we can have access to all of its plot-building functions. Therefore, run the line of code below to load plotly:

library(plotly)

Another library we also need to install and load is the R dplyr library, which is the go-to library in R for data manipulation and analysis. It will enable us to use the pipe operator to pipe lines of code together and run them as one chunk. Therefore, run the code below to install and load dplyr:

install.packages("plotly")
library(dplyr)

 

Build Simple Bar Plot with Long Axis Labels

We will now create a data frame to be used in plotting a plotly bar plot. It is a data frame of countries with long names and their respective populations. We want to demonstrate how to prevent the long x-axis labels from being cut off:

df <- data.frame(
  country = c("People's Happiness Republic of the Worldwide World ",
              "National Health and Wealth Conglomerate of Unity",
              "United Dance Nation for All Languages of Humanity",
              "Love and Flowers Federation for Champions and Heroes",
              "Federal Sunshine Water Nation of the Planet Earth"),
  population = c(5000,7200,4100,3800,6500)
)

You can print out the data frame by running:

print(df)
#                                              country  population
#1  People's Happiness Republic of the Worldwide World        5000
#2     National Health and Wealth Conglomerate of Unity       7200
#3    United Dance Nation for All Languages of Humanity       4100
#4 Love and Flowers Federation for Champions and Heroes       3800
#5    Federal Sunshine Water Nation of the Planet Earth       6500

Let us now visualize the data in the data frame:

fig <- df |> 
  plot_ly(x = ~country, 
          y = ~population,
          type = "bar",
          color = ~country)
 
fig


Now something is immediately obvious from the plot above: the x-axis labels are not being cut off. This is because, by default, plotly sets its x-axis automargin = argument to TRUE in the layout() function, which automatically adjusts the margin below the plot to accommodate the x-axis labels.

But if automargin = is set to FALSE, then we would get the below plot

fig <- df |> 
  plot_ly(x = ~country, 
          y = ~population,
          type = "bar",
          color = ~country) |> 
  layout(xaxis = list(automargin = FALSE))
 
fig


Clearly, setting automargin = to FALSE results in a plot whose x-axis labels are cut off, which we do not want. But thankfully, as noted earlier, plotly sets it to TRUE by default. And this applies to the y-axis as well.

So, if you build a plotly graph, and you find that your axis labels are being cut off, then make sure to check that automargin = is set to TRUE. However, you can also manually adjust the margins of your plot in the layout() function as shown below:

layout(xaxis = list(tickangle = 45),
       margin = list(b = 200))

And this should apply to any other kinds of visualizations that are built in plotly.

So, this is how to prevent long axis labels of your plotly graph from being cut off in the R programming language.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If yes, then be sure to check out other plotly in R tutorials on Statistics Globe, and I will see you in the next one!

 

Video, Further Resources & Summary

Do you need more explanations on how to prevent long axis labels of plotly graph from being cut off in R? Then you should have a look at the following YouTube video of the Statistics Globe YouTube channel.

In the video, we explain in some more detail how to prevent long axis labels from being cut off in plotly graph in R.

 

The YouTube video will be added soon.

 

Furthermore, you could have a look at some other tutorials on Statistics Globe:

This post has shown how to prevent long axis labels from being cut off in plotly graph in R. In case you have further questions, you may leave a comment below.

 

R & Python Expert Ifeanyi Idiaye

This page was created in collaboration with Ifeanyi Idiaye. You might check out Ifeanyi’s personal author page to read more about his academic background and the other articles he has written for the Statistics Globe website.

 

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