How To Make The Bar Clear In R Not White

R Programming

In R, creating clear bar plots with non-white backgrounds can be a great way to enhance visualizations. The use of a different background color can make your plots stand out and can be especially useful when presenting data in a report or a presentation. Let’s dive into the details of how to achieve this!

Setting the Plot Background Color

To start, I typically use the ggplot2 package for creating plots in R. To change the background color of the plot, I set the panel.background layer to the desired color using the theme function. For example, to make the background color light gray, I would use the following code:

ggplot(mtcars, aes(x = factor(cyl), fill = factor(cyl))) +
geom_bar() +
theme(panel.background = element_rect(fill = "lightgray"))

Adding Personal Touches

When I’m working on a project, I often like to customize the colors to fit the overall aesthetic. Choosing the right background color for a bar plot can really make the data pop. I encourage you to experiment with different color palettes to find the perfect combination that suits your personal style and the context of your data.

Considerations for Color Accessibility

While it’s exciting to play around with different colors, it’s important to keep in mind the principles of color accessibility. If your plots are intended for a wide audience, ensure that the chosen background color doesn’t compromise the readability of the data. Tools like the Color Contrast Checker can be valuable for assessing the accessibility of your chosen color scheme.

Going Beyond the Basics

For more advanced customization, you can explore the use of transparency settings to achieve subtle effects and overlays. This can further elevate the visual appeal of your bar plots, making them not only informative but also visually captivating.


Creating bar plots with clear, non-white backgrounds in R is a straightforward process that allows for personalization and creativity. By carefully selecting background colors and considering accessibility, you can make your visualizations more engaging and impactful. So, don’t hesitate to experiment and make your bar plots shine with unique background colors!