How to Create an Empty Plot in R (3 Examples)


There are three common ways to create an empty plot in R:

Method 1: Create Completely Empty Plot

plot.new()

Method 2: Create Empty Plot with Axes

plot(NULL, xlab="", ylab="", xaxt="n", yaxt="n",
     xlim=c(0, 10), ylim=c(0, 10))

Method 3: Create Empty Plot with Axes & Labels

plot(NULL, ylab="y label", xlab="x label", main="title",
     xlim=c(0, 10), ylim=c(0, 10))

The following example shows how to use each method in practice.

Example 1: Create Completely Empty Plot

We can use the following code to create a completely empty plot in R:

plot.new()

Here’s what the result looks like in the plotting window in RStudio:

Example 2: Create Empty Plot with Axes

We can use the following code to create an empty plot with axes in R:

plot(NULL, xlab="", ylab="", xaxt="n", yaxt="n",
     xlim=c(0, 10), ylim=c(0, 10))

Here’s what the result looks like in the plotting window in RStudio:

Note that the xaxt and yaxt arguments suppress the tick marks on the x-axis and y-axis, respectively. 

Example 3: Create Empty Plot with Axes & Labels

We can use the following code to create an empty plot with axes and labels in R:

plot(NULL, ylab="y label", xlab="x label", main="title",
     xlim=c(0, 10), ylim=c(0, 10))

Here’s what the result looks like in the plotting window in RStudio:

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in R:

How to Create an Empty Data Frame in R
How to Create an Empty Matrix in R
How to Create an Empty Vector in R
How to Create an Empty List in R

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.