Ever needed to add straight lines to an R plot? You can use abline in R to add straight lines to a plot. What is ab line? It helps you plot a line in R, and with it making lines in R has never been easier. This R function is great for adding cutoffs or similar limits to an existing R plot.
# abline in r / r plot add line abline(a = NULL, b = NULL, h = NULL, v = NULL, reg = NULL, coef = NULL, col = NULL, lty = NULL, lwd= NULL)
The abline function can accept several arguments, with defaults of NULL:
- a – The intercept of the line, as a single value
- b – The slope of a line, as a single value
- h – the y-value(s) for horizontal line(s)
- v – the x-value(s) for vertical line(s).
- coef – a vector of length two giving the intercept and slope
- reg – a regression object generated by the coef method; intended to simplifying passing trend-lines from a regression calculation
- col – optional color parameter for the line
- lty – optional line type parameter
- lwd – optional line width parameter
Initial Setup – Examples
We’re going to use the airmiles dataset for this tutorial on how to plot a line in r. This is one of the default datasets available in R.
> airmiles # default plot for abline in r tutorial > plot (airmiles)
As you can see, airmiles is a nice basic timeseries. It shows the growth of airline travel within the US.
Abline in R – Add Horizontal Lines
How do you draw a horizontal line in R? First, lets start by drawing a horizontal line on the graph. Maybe we are very interested in seeing when the total miles traveled is above 20,000.
# abline in R example - horizontal line abline(20000,0)
This draws a lovely horizontal line at the y = 20000 level.
Abline in R – Add Vertical Lines
Now for some tips on vertical line drawing. We can also easily add a vertical line to the graph, similar to a dropline in Excel. Perhaps our client would like to see a line at the year 1955.
# abline in R example - horizontal line abline(v = 1955)
This draws a lovely horizontal line at the x = 1955 level.
Abline in R – Color and Line Types
Moving past basic black and white, we can easily adapt the abline function to draw lines in color and in different formats. We can edit our R plot line thickness, do a dotted abline in R, and add color to abline in R.
plot(airmiles) abline(v=1955, col='blue', lty=2, lwd=5)
Abline in R – Multiple Lines
In this next example, we’re going to draw a range of two lines on the chart. There’s syntax that can simplify this for horizontal lines.
plot(airmiles) abline(c(5000, 25000), col='blue', lty=2, lwd=4) abline(5000, 0, col='blue', lty=2, lwd=4) abline(25000, 0, col='blue', lty=2, lwd=4)
Abline in R – Drawing a slope
For our next example, we will demonstrate how to draw a sloped line. The abline function in R can help us plot a sloped line, which can help us plot a linear regression line in R. How do you add a trendline in R? The ab line tool can help us with that too.
A slope of 1 is a 45 degree line.
with(airquality, plot(Ozone, Temp)) abline(60, .5, col='blue', lty=2, lwd=4) abline(60, 0, col='blue', lty=2, lwd=4) abline(60, 1, col='blue', lty=2, lwd=4)
Abline in R can help us with a great many things. Whether you want to do abline on a histogram in R, change your R plot line thickness, or even learn how to draw in R, abline in R is a great place to start. R lines will become your best friend when plotting data, and learning simple tricks like how to limit abline in R, how to do a linear regression in R, or how to make an R 45 degree line will all make you a much better data scientist!
We hope our tutorial on abline in R was helpful, and encourage you to check out some of our other tips and tricks for everything R-related!