3 min read

Week31 - taucharts

Week31 - taucharts

This Week’s Widget - taucharts

As I said in week 1, an htmlwidget collaboration still qualifies as an htmlwidget of the week. This week’s taucharts is a very fine case of why I set this rule. boB Rudis @hrbrmstr delighted me when he started to tackle the very well-designed TauCharts. Check out the TauCharts site, docs, and design post, and I think you’ll quickly see why we have both been very intrigued by this library. Bob’s first tweet said

“now to find the time to finish it :-)”

I took this as an invitation to participate and quickly responded especially since I had hesitated on TauCharts becuase I didn’t think I would have the time in a week to cover all of its features. Please note almost all the code and credit for taucharts belongs to Bob. I simply chipped in where possible.

Quick Installation

taucharts is not yet on CRAN, so for now please install with devtools::install_github.



@hrbrmstr has already assembled quite a few examples in the documentation, this RPubs, and his blog post Achieve Charting Zen With TauCharts. I’ll try to supplement instead of replicate his examples. Limiting myself to only a couple of examples with so much functionality will be tricky.

I very often go to the Deepayan Sarkar’s (author of lattice) book Lattice: Multivariate Data Visualization with R (Use R!) to find examples to replicate with new charting libraries. Let’s look at a couple of my favorites starting with bars since these can be quite tricky. As an aside, xtabs still just does not get nearly the credit it deserves.

Stacked Bar

# devtools::install_github("hrbrmstr/taucharts")

# http://lmdvr.r-forge.r-project.org/figures/figures.html
xtabs( Freq ~ Survived + Sex, Titanic ) %>% 
  # tables get automatically converted to a data.frame
  tauchart() %>%
  tau_stacked_bar( "Sex", "Freq", "Survived" ) %>%
  tau_guide_y( label = "# of Passengers") %>%


R users need facets/strips, and taucharts makes it easy.

# devtools::install_github("hrbrmstr/taucharts")

# based off http://lmdvr.r-forge.r-project.org/figures/figures.html
Titanic %>% 
  # tables get automatically converted to a data.frame
  tauchart() %>%
    c( "Age","Sex" )
    , c( "Class", "Freq" )
    , "Survived"
  ) %>%

Facetted Line


# based off http://lmdvr.r-forge.r-project.org/figures/figures.html
## Figure 2.1
data(Oats, package = "MEMSS")

# xyplot(yield ~ nitro | Variety + Block, data = Oats, type = 'o')

tauchart( Oats ) %>%
  tau_line( "Block", c("Variety", "yield") , "nitro" ) %>%
  tau_tooltip() %>%

Tricky R->JS Dates

Date handling from R to JavaScript can get tricky quickly. Although date support is not as full featured as I would like, taucharts does pretty well with dates.


  data.frame( "random" = runif( 100, 0, 100 ) )
  , order.by = seq(Sys.Date(),Sys.Date()+99,by="days")
) %>%
  tauchart() %>%
  # xts index get added as a column named Date
  tau_point( "Date", "random" ) %>%
  tau_guide_x( tick_format = "%b %d" )


R can draw some mean trendlines, but can JavaScript?


CO2 %>%
  tauchart( ) %>%
  tau_point( "conc", c("Treatment","uptake"), "Plant" ) %>%
  tau_tooltip( ) %>%
  tau_trendline( )

This is certainly not all, but I’ll stop here. As always, feedback, examples, use cases are very welcome.


Thanks so much to boB Rudis for a really wonderful collaborative experience fueled by his vast wealth of skill and experience. Thanks to Petriko Vladimir at targetprocess for the spectacular charting library TauCharts.

As always, thanks to

  • Ramnath Vaidyanathan and RStudio for htmlwidgets
  • all the contributors to R and JavaScript