What is ggrough?

ggrough is an R package that converts your ggplot2 plots to rough/sketchy charts, using the excellent javascript roughjs library.

count(mtcars, carb) %>%
  ggplot(aes(carb, n)) +
  geom_col() + 
  labs(title="Number of cars by carburator count") + 
  theme_grey(base_size = 16) -> p 

Word of caution

ggrough is a work in progress and still has big bugs. Contributions are welcome!

ggrough works “ok” with RStudio Viewer. However you need to redraw your chart everytime you change the size of the Viewer tab and the charts will redraw when you try to copy it via Export -> Save As Image. The latter can be annoying since some roughjs settings can add a lot of randomness.

ggrough doesn’t work well with Rmarkdown files yet. For example, it can only generate one chart per document. If you have multiple charts it overlays them on top of each other.

Under the hood

ggrough is an htmlwidget. It converts your ggplot2 chart to SVG using the package svglite then parse the different elements (<rect>, <path>, <circle>…) to create a chart in a HTML Canvas element1 with roughjs.

An article explaining how ggrough works is in the making, to help potential contributors get started.


This package is only possible thanks to the massive work of:

  1. roughjs can also render to SVG. This will be supported by ggrough in the future