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R Graphics, Second Edition (Chapman & Hall/CRC The R Series) Hardcover – June 2, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1439831762 ISBN-10: 1439831769 Edition: 2nd
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R Graphics, Second Edition (Chapman & Hall/CRC The R Series) + ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis (Use R!) + R Graphics Cookbook
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Editorial Reviews


"The book under review is a greatly extended second edition of the well-received 2006 book. The size has almost doubled by adding 12 new chapters of which one is a former appendix, so that the second edition now contains 19 chapters divided into four parts. … this edition is invaluable and a necessity for everyone who regularly has to produce graphs by using R."
―Stefan K. Lhachimi, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, February 2014

"This is a timely revision for a well-liked book. … this book is the place to go for advice on how to draw that graphic. … The strengths of the book remain the clear exposition of the traditional and grid graphics systems and the numerous examples (for which the code is, of course, available on the book’s website). The new coverage of many other graphics packages adds to the book’s attractiveness and in particular the chapter on ggplot2 is an excellent introduction to a complex package. … a very good book, which will be of use to anyone working seriously with graphics in R."
―Antony Unwin, International Statistical Review, 2012

"A lot has changed in the world of statistical graphics during this time, which is reflected in the substantial new material in the second edition. … the changes make this book the essential and comprehensive guide to graphics in R. … This is an excellent book. Everyone who uses R to draw graphics should have a copy!"
Journal of Statistical Software, Vol. 43, September 2011

Praise for the First Edition:
"R Graphics is a must for many useRs and programmmeRs … Paul Murrell, a member of the R Core Development Team, has not only been the main author of ‘grid’ but has also been responsible for several recent enhancements to the underlying R graphics engine. Together with its online companion website, this book will be an indispensable resource for almost everyone interested in how to produce R graphics efficiently and intelligently."
―Martin Maechler, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

"Starting with the basic plotting commands most users are familiar with from introductory texts, the book gives a comprehensive overview of the current state and design principles of visualizing data with R. Paul Murrell is one of the main authors of R’s graphical facilities, and inventor of completely new features like the grid system or expressions for annotation of plots with mathematical formulae. … beginners gradually are turned into programmers while learning the language, having ample material for both novices and experts. It will certainly claim its place on the bookshelf of reference guides next to my desktop."
―Friedrich Leisch, Technical University of Vienna, Austria

"R Graphics is exactly the sort of documentation that R needs. It is written clearly, with many examples, and will be useful for any level of R expertise from novice upwards. It contains more than a hundred figures containing model code and its output. There are extensive cross-references that make finding detailed information easy. My copy of the book is from the first printing, but it is exceptionally free of typographical and other errors. … Murrell is to be congratulated."
―Duncan Murdoch, University of Western Ontario, Canada

"Thanks to Paul Murrell’s new book, the secrets of both traditional graphics and the new, modern grid system get unveiled … a must-have for novices and professionals alike, the ultimate guide to the power (and beauty) of R graphics."
―David Meyer, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, R News, 6(2), 2006

"It achieves its goal of documenting the graphical facilities of R and should be extremely useful to anyone in need of detailed knowledge, in particular, of R’s grid graphics."
―Soren Feodor Nielsen, University of Copenhagen, Journal of Applied Statistics, November 2007, Vol. 34, No. 9

About the Author

Paul Murrell attended Auckland University for his BSc (in Computer Science), BA (in Psychology), MSc (in Psychology), and PhD (in Statistics!). He then spent a year at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Community Medicine as a medical statistician and research assistant, before joining the Department of Statistics at Auckland University in October, 1999. His research interests include computational and graphical statistics. He is currently part of the development team for the R and Omegahat statistical computing projects. He was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2010.


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Product Details

  • Series: Chapman & Hall/CRC The R Series (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 546 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 2 edition (June 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439831769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439831762
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Joshua F. Wiley on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book provided a thorough treatment of the different systems for creating graphics in R. It particularly emphasized grid graphics, and how to use low level plotting functions to create, extend, and enhance plots. R Graphics was invaluable in helping me understand and edit (not a "how to"!!! this is not for beginners) the output from lattice and ggplot2.

The book is divided into four major sections and there are ample examples of graphs and code. Further, each chapter starts with a brief preview and ends with a short summary paragraph. Overall, it was one of the clearest technical books I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it (I could not put it down all week :).

Part I deals with "traditional" graphics. It starts with an introduction to the high level functions that create typical plots like scatter plots, but also covers more esoteric types such as mosaic plots. It quickly moves on to low level functions that draw points, text, etc.; how the plotting regions and margins work, and how all of this can be edited and customized. By the end of the section, readers are introduced to all the tools to build their own custom plots complete with axes, annotations, legends, titles, even special shapes.

Part II introduces the grid graphics system. This is a massive section and nothing short of phenomenal. Two chapters are dedicated to introducing the lattice and ggplot2 packages. For readers interested in thoroughly learning either of those packages, I would suggest reading the book on
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dimitri Shvorob on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
To me, the generalist-books-on-R-graphics category includes three contenders: this book, and those by Mittal and Takezawa. Murrell's forte is its wide scope: if you want to know what charts R can do (and how, naturally), it is the only, and very good, reference; by virtue of this, it is likely to stay on your bookshelf. On the other hand, it leaves room for competition to attract a reader by (a) being more beginner-friendly, like Mittal's thin book, or (b) going into more detail on basic general-purpose charts, like Takezawa's.

UPD. There is a new book which is generalist and non-generalist at the same time: Winston Chang's "R Graphics Cookbook" focuses on the "ggplot2" graphics package, but goes through a wide range of plots available in it. In addition, second edition of Michael Crawley's "R Book" ramped up its graphics coverage, so if you are new to R, it would be your best bet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caro on December 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really good book. One of the best qbout R and graphics. I highly recommend it for the beginners as the experts. A lot of examples, and all the functions or parameters are addressed.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Vadulam on October 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a $7.98 book.

It is truly amazing these books on the open source software R cost so much.

The illustrious author could have published this book as a pdf file for $7.98.

These two web sites provide far more information than the book:



This book assumes too much knowledge of R on the part of the reader. If the reader already know that much R, he/she does not need this book.

The above web sites give the graphics and the associated R code to produce them.

Also, they show how to do R programming the right way-- elegantly.
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R Graphics, Second Edition (Chapman & Hall/CRC The R Series)
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