A short post: A Shiny Application for Visualizing Colors in R

December 16, 2014

(This article was first published on Design Data Decisions » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Choosing the right colors for graphics is vital for good data visualization. There are 657 colors defined in R using color names. The names of these colors can be obtained using the R command:


Some examples of color names in R include exotic sounding ones such as ‘steelblue1′, ‘thistle’, ‘mintcream’ and so on! But how do these colors actually look onscreen?

Show R colors is a web application (app) developed using Shiny that can be used to quickly see how the named colors in R look onscreen, before they are used in graphics. Shiny (http://shiny.rstudio.com/) is an R package that makes it easy to build interactive apps from R. Very little knowledge of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript is required to develop simple apps, though some knowledge of these can help in creating more stunning applications.

I developed this app as a course project for the ‘Developing Data Products’ course from Coursera and since then have used it various times to choose colors for my graphs!

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