There are two ways to change the legend position in base R plots:

**Method 1: Use (x, y) coordinates**

legend(4, 12, legend=c('y1', 'y2'), col=c('purple', 'red'), lty=1)

**Method 2: Use keywords**

legend('bottomright', legend=c('y1', 'y2'), col=c('purple', 'red'), lty=1)

Using this method, you can specify the following locations:

- “bottomright”
- “bottom”
- “bottomleft”
- “left”
- “topleft”
- “top”
- “topright”
- “right”
- “center”

The following examples show how to use each method in practice.

**Example 1: Change Legend Position Using (x, y) Coordinates**

The following code shows how to create a legend for a plot in base R and place it at x=4 and y=12:

#create data x <- 1:10 y1<- c(3, 6, 8, 7, 8, 9, 13, 12, 10, 10) y2 <- c(1, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 9, 9) #create plot with multiple lines plot(x, y1, col='purple', type='l', xlab='x', ylab='y') lines(x, y2, col='red') #add legend legend(4, 12, legend=c('y1', 'y2'), col=c('purple', 'red'), lty=1)

Notice that the legend is placed at the exact (x,y) coordinates that we specified.

**Example 2: Change Legend Position Using Keywords**

The following code shows how to create a legend for a plot in base R and place it in the top left corner:

#create data x <- 1:10 y1<- c(3, 6, 8, 7, 8, 9, 13, 12, 10, 10) y2 <- c(1, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 9, 9) #create plot with multiple lines plot(x, y1, col='purple', type='l', xlab='x', ylab='y') lines(x, y2, col='red') #add legend legend('topleft', legend=c('y1', 'y2'), col=c('purple', 'red'), lty=1)

The legend is placed in the top left corner of the plot, just as we specified.

We can easily change it to a different location, such as the bottom right corner, by using a different keyword:

#create data x <- 1:10 y1<- c(3, 6, 8, 7, 8, 9, 13, 12, 10, 10) y2 <- c(1, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 9, 9) #create plot with multiple lines plot(x, y1, col='purple', type='l', xlab='x', ylab='y') lines(x, y2, col='red') #add legend legend('bottomright', legend=c('y1', 'y2'), col=c('purple', 'red'), lty=1)

The legend is now placed in the bottom right corner of the plot.

**Related:** How to Draw a Legend Outside of a Plot in R

**Additional Resources**

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

How to Plot Multiple Lines in One Chart in R

How to Plot Line of Best Fit in R

How to Use abline() in R