ylim() and xlim() in R

Graphs can provide excellent insight into data and help understand the relationships in the dataset. R is such a powerful tool for data analysis has many functions like ggplot(), plot(), and many more, which can help make beautiful, useful graphs and many types.

Sometimes, one might need to make sure that the plot lies between certain values and not exceed these values. Two functions that can be used in such situations are the ylim() and xlim() functions. Both these functions are used to set the lower and upper limit on the y-axis and x-axis, respectively.

Let’s start with the ylim() function. It specifies the upper and lower limit of the y-axis. It is a fundamental function and can be used inside the ggplot(), plot(), and other plot functions as a parameter. In the example below, we will first plot a basic scatter plot of random distribution and then set the lower limit of the y-axis as 0 and the upper limit as 50 using ylim().


R plot without xlim and ylim

plot(sample(100), ylim = c(0,50))

R plot with ylim

Notice the change in the y-axis after setting the upper and lower limit.

Similarly we can use the xlim() function for x-axis. For example:

plot(sample(100), ylim = c(0,50), xlim = c(0,50))

R plot with xlim and ylim

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