ggsignif: Significance Brackets for ‘ggplot2’

CRAN_Status_Badge R build status Downloads Codecov test coverage lifecycle


This package provides an easy way to indicate if two groups are significantly different. Commonly this is shown by a bar on top connecting the groups of interest which itself is annotated with the level of significance (NS, *, **, ***). The package provides a single layer (geom_signif) that takes the groups for comparison and the test (t.test, wilcox etc.) and adds the annotation to the plot.


If you wish to cite this package in a publication, you can run the following command in your R console:

#> To cite package 'ggsignif' in publications use:
#>   Constantin Ahlmann-Eltze and Indrajeet Patil (2021). ggsignif:
#>   Significance Brackets for 'ggplot2'. R package version 0.6.1.
#> A BibTeX entry for LaTeX users is
#>   @Manual{,
#>     title = {ggsignif: Significance Brackets for 'ggplot2'},
#>     author = {Constantin Ahlmann-Eltze and Indrajeet Patil},
#>     year = {2021},
#>     note = {R package version 0.6.1},
#>     url = {},
#>   }


You can first install this package from CRAN:


Or get the latest development version:


Plot significance


ggplot(mpg, aes(class, hwy)) +
  geom_boxplot() +
    comparisons = list(c("compact", "midsize"), c("minivan", "suv")),
    map_signif_level = TRUE, textsize = 6
  ) +
  ylim(NA, 48)

Setting the precise location

This is important if you use position="dodge", because in that case I cannot calculate the correct position of the bars automatically.

# Calculate annotation
anno <- t.test(
  iris[iris$Petal.Width > 1 & iris$Species == "versicolor", "Sepal.Width"],
  iris[iris$Species == "virginica", "Sepal.Width"]

# Make plot with custom x and y position of the bracket
ggplot(iris, aes(x = Species, y = Sepal.Width, fill = Petal.Width > 1)) +
  geom_boxplot(position = "dodge") +
    annotation = formatC(anno, digits = 1),
    y_position = 4.05, xmin = 2.2, xmax = 3,
    tip_length = c(0.2, 0.04)

Advanced Example

Sometimes one needs to have a very fine tuned ability to set the location of the the significance bars in combination with facet_wrap or facet_grid. In those cases it you can set the flag manual=TRUE and provide the annotations as a data.frame:

annotation_df <- data.frame(
  color = c("E", "H"),
  start = c("Good", "Fair"),
  end = c("Very Good", "Good"),
  y = c(3.6, 4.7),
  label = c("Comp. 1", "Comp. 2")

#>   color start       end   y   label
#> 1     E  Good Very Good 3.6 Comp. 1
#> 2     H  Fair      Good 4.7 Comp. 2

ggplot(diamonds, aes(x = cut, y = carat)) +
  geom_boxplot() +
    data = annotation_df,
    aes(xmin = start, xmax = end, annotations = label, y_position = y),
    textsize = 3, vjust = -0.2,
    manual = TRUE
  ) +
  facet_wrap(~color) +
  ylim(NA, 5.3)

You can ignore the warning about the missing aesthetics.

For further details go the CRAN page and check the examples in the vignette.

Also see


This package is provided as is and we currently don’t have any plans and the capacity to add any new features to it. If there is nonetheless a feature which you would like to see in the package, you are always welcome to submit pull request, which we will try to address as soon as possible.

Code of Conduct

Please note that the ggsignif project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By contributing to this project, you agree to abide by its terms.