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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars

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on 25 October 2013
This one never leaves my desk...

I found the 'ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis' (one of the other ggplot2 books available) a bit of struggle and bought this book with a view to using as a 'helper'. After using it for a couple of months I can say that it's everything I initially needed: easy to read, simple to understand and the recipes work without any problem. It's moved from being an initial prop for 'ggpplot2...' to being my main reference - though I do still use the original book as well.

The book is never more than arms reach away when I have to produce graphic reports and is full of 'page-marker' tabs for commands, colour tables, key examples...

Extremely useful and can't recommend it highly enough...
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on 19 March 2017
great book for ggplots2
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on 22 April 2013
For an animal book this is particularly good. Quite a bit of effort has been put into crafting a colourful well laid out book. In terms of the text for a first edition this seems excellent too. There are sections on standard R stuff like importing data but I also found lots of other R stuff which might be termed more generic and was a bit of an eye opener for the relative novice like myself. A typical example was easily learning how to reorder an axis based on making the characters a factor and working round default alphabetical order of items on the axis.

Its true that 95% of the book is based on using ggplot2 and not the base graphics function in R. Therefore its hardly surprising the author of ggplot2 adds his approbation of this book on the back cover.

But then ggplot2 does produce excellent graphics! They look pretty impressive in lab meetings compared to other people's excel produced charts. Although the grammar as they are so keen on calling it is different to the base package it seems to make pretty reasonable common sense.

That said i guess you can't expect a book like this to give you everything and i still had to search the web for a few questions particularly on using 'guides'.

I think the writing style shows great clarity of mind and anticipatory awareness of the kinds of things people need to get done. I always wondered how people draw ballon charts in papers for example and now find its pretty easy.

Definitely recommended for help drawing pretty graphs, used in combination with professor google.
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on 16 January 2013
And now, the moment we all have been waiting for. R graphics cookbook is already on shelves - and I have missed it's release! This is why I am putting my hands on it right now. The book is a very well composed and easy to browse plotting compendium for R users. Some sort of must have. In my opinion it goes well together with R Cookbook by Paul Teetor or with R in a Nutshell by Joseph Adler.

Just to the meritum. What I have found really helpful is that examples are based on data delivered via the package installed within R. So, you don't have to download, install or browse anything outside R. All you have to do is type in:


and you are ready to go.

I know that Winston has his own page (Cookbook for R) where lots of plotting examples are available for browsing. However, here, in the book you get the same content with new layout, additional remarks and new content, everything packed in a form of typical cookbook. It is not that you pay for the copy-paste from the web page. You are getting better organised and better explained content. Another thing is that book contains topics you won't be able to find at the web page (e.g. multiline legends, colouring negative and positive bars differently, extended scatter plots related content, and much much more). So, as I said, this is not a copy-paste like book. Of course, you can still live with the Cookbook for R materials online and you will probably be happy. But not as much as with this book in your hands.

In my opinion, suggested audience for this book are:

- people who start their adventure with R
- people who are looking for new inspirations with plots
- people who are not sure how data could be visualised and are bored with standard plots
- people who are willing to get familiar with ggplot2

If you are advanced R user and it happened so that you have gone into plotting routine and you are playing with the same plots all the time it might be refreshing to see what others have to offer.
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on 14 February 2014
This is a very effective and useful guidebook for how to produce any of hundreds of attractive graphics in R, mainly using ggplot2. The learning-by-doing approach is effective. Often the first time you want to know how to do something is a few minutes or hours before you need to have done it, and so learning a syntax, or in this case graphical syntax, from first principles isn't an option. However here the underlying logic of ggplot2 becomes revealed implicitly, through pattern recognition. This book isn't just a crutch to rely on now, but a tool to develop knowledge and strength over the long term.
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on 23 September 2014
When I first met ggplot I found it overly complicated, this book is a brilliant way of learning to use this package. If you use R and wish to produce good-looking plots of your data I recommend this book.
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on 8 April 2014
This is not a technical book. It is written in a consistently patronising manner; i.e. each "section" is delivered as

So, in that vein ...

You want a book contains information about R Graphics
Do not buy R Graphics Cookbook
The opening sentence of Chapter 1 starts "This chapter contains the basics: installing ans using packages ....."
The reason for this is that every (well, a good majority) so-called solution to a problem starts with the code
Therefore, you need to get the author's software to use his book. That's a new approach to making a book unusable on a train/ plane/ bus/ ... Why buy the book?

There are a couple of glaring omissions from the book
1) how to give it zero stars (rather than the minimum allowable 1)
2) how to get a refund.

PhD Student.
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on 6 July 2013
I have the kindle version and I refer to it on a daily basis. Contains some useful recipes including some features and work-arounds that I wasn't aware of.
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on 19 March 2015
At a certain point of climbing up the steep R learning curve this book is useful.
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