Getting Started with Plotly in R

How to get started making charts with Plotly's R graphing library.

New to Plotly?

Plotly is a free and open-source graphing library for R. We recommend you read our Getting Started guide for the latest installation or upgrade instructions, then move on to our Plotly Fundamentals tutorials or dive straight in to some Basic Charts tutorials.

Getting Started with Plotly for R

plotly is an R package for creating interactive web-based graphs via the open source JavaScript graphing library plotly.js.

As of version 2.0 (November 17, 2015), graphs created with the plotly R package are rendered locally through the htmlwidgets framework.


Download from CRAN

Use the install.package() function to install the plotly R package from CRAN. This version may not be the absolute latest version, so we recommend downloading from Github using the instructions below if you can.


Download from GitHub

Alternatively, you can install the latest development version of plotly from GitHub via the devtools R package:


Note For RStudio Users

RStudio users should ensure that they are using the latest RStudio release in order to ensure compatibility with the htmlwidgets R package.

Rendering Charts

By default, the plotly R package runs locally in your web browser or in the RStudio viewer.

fig <- plot_ly(midwest, x = ~percollege, color = ~state, type = "box")

Simply printing the plot object will render the chart locally in your web browser or in the RStudio viewer.

Graphs created with the plotly R package are interactive!

Click on legend entries to hide/show traces, click-and-drag on the chart to zoom, double-click to autoscale, shift-and-drag to pan.

Next Steps

Once you have installed the plotly R package, learn more about the fundamentals of making charts and start making basic charts.

What About Dash?

Dash for R is an open-source framework for building analytical applications, with no Javascript required, and it is tightly integrated with the Plotly graphing library.

Learn about how to install Dash for R at

Everywhere in this page that you see fig, you can display the same figure in a Dash for R application by passing it to the figure argument of the Graph component from the built-in dashCoreComponents package like this:


fig <- plot_ly() 
# fig <- fig %>% add_trace( ... )
# fig <- fig %>% layout( ... ) 


app <- Dash$new()

app$run_server(debug=TRUE, dev_tools_hot_reload=FALSE)