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Arrow mark ^0.4.0


See also the vector mark, which draws arrows of a given length and direction.

The arrow mark draws arrows between two points [x1, y1] and [x2, y2] in quantitative dimensions. It is similar to the link mark, except it draws an arrowhead and is suitable for directed edges. With the bend option, it can be swoopy.⤵︎

For example, below we show the rising inequality (and population) in various U.S. cities from 1980 to 2015. Each arrow represents two observations of a city: the city’s population (x) and inequality (y) in 1980, and the same in 2015. The arrow’s stroke redundantly encodes the change in inequality: red indicates rising inequality, while blue (there are only four) indicates declining inequality.

  grid: true,
  inset: 10,
  x: {
    type: "log",
    label: "Population"
  y: {
    label: "Inequality",
    ticks: 4
  color: {
    scheme: "BuRd",
    label: "Change in inequality from 1980 to 2015",
    legend: true,
    tickFormat: "+f"
  marks: [
    Plot.arrow(metros, {
      x1: "POP_1980",
      y1: "R90_10_1980",
      x2: "POP_2015",
      y2: "R90_10_2015",
      bend: true,
      stroke: (d) => d.R90_10_2015 - d.R90_10_1980
    Plot.text(metros, {
      x: "POP_2015",
      y: "R90_10_2015",
      filter: "highlight",
      text: "nyt_display",
      fill: "currentColor",
      stroke: "white",
      dy: -6

The arrow mark is also useful for drawing directed graph edges, say representing transition frequencies in a finite state machine.

  inset: 60,
  aspectRatio: 1,
  axis: null,
  marks: [, {r: 40}),
    Plot.arrow(markov.edges, {
      x1: ([[x1]]) => x1,
      y1: ([[, y1]]) => y1,
      x2: ([, [x2]]) => x2,
      y2: ([, [, y2]]) => y2,
      bend: true,
      strokeWidth: ([,, value]) => value,
      strokeLinejoin: "miter",
      headLength: 24,
      inset: 48
    Plot.text(markov.nodes, {text: ["A", "B", "C"], dy: 12}),
    Plot.text(markov.edges, {
      x: ([[x1, y1], [x2, y2]]) => (x1 + x2) / 2 + (y1 - y2) * 0.15,
      y: ([[x1, y1], [x2, y2]]) => (y1 + y2) / 2 - (x1 - x2) * 0.15,
      text: ([,, value]) => value

For undirected edges, as in the arc diagram of character co-occurrence in Les Misérables below, set the sweep option to the desired orientation: -y for right-bulging links whose endpoints are vertically separated.

  height: 1080,
  marginLeft: 100,
  axis: null,
  x: {domain: [0, 1]}, // see
  color: {domain: d3.range(10), unknown: "#ccc"},
  marks: [, {x: 0, y: "id", fill: "group", sort: {y: "fill"}}),
    Plot.text(miserables.nodes, {x: 0, y: "id", text: "id", textAnchor: "end", dx: -6, fill: "group"}),
    Plot.arrow(miserables.links, {x: 0, y1: "source", y2: "target", sweep: "-y", bend: 90, headLength: 0, stroke: samegroup, sort: samegroup, reverse: true})

Arrow options

The following channels are required:

  • x1 - the starting horizontal position; bound to the x scale
  • y1 - the starting vertical position; bound to the y scale
  • x2 - the ending horizontal position; bound to the x scale
  • y2 - the ending vertical position; bound to the y scale

For vertical or horizontal arrows, the x option can be specified as shorthand for x1 and x2, and the y option can be specified as shorthand for y1 and y2, respectively.

The arrow mark supports the standard mark options. The stroke defaults to currentColor. The fill defaults to none. The strokeWidth defaults to 1.5, and the strokeMiterlimit defaults to 1. The following additional options are supported:

  • bend - the bend angle, in degrees; defaults to 0°; true for 22.5°
  • headAngle - the arrowhead angle, in degrees; defaults to 60°
  • headLength - the arrowhead scale; defaults to 8
  • insetEnd - inset at the end of the arrow (useful if the arrow points to a dot)
  • insetStart - inset at the start of the arrow
  • inset - shorthand for the two insets
  • sweep - the sweep order

The bend option sets the angle between the straight line connecting the two points and the outgoing direction of the arrow from the start point. It must be within ±90°. A positive angle will produce a clockwise curve; a negative angle will produce a counterclockwise curve; zero will produce a straight line. The headAngle determines how pointy the arrowhead is; it is typically between 0° and 180°. The headLength determines the scale of the arrowhead relative to the stroke width. Assuming the default of stroke width 1.5px, the headLength is the length of the arrowhead’s side in pixels.

The sweep option ^0.6.10 controls the bend orientation. It defaults to 1 indicating a positive (clockwise) bend angle; -1 indicates a negative (anticlockwise) bend angle; 0 effectively clears the bend angle. If -x, the bend angle is flipped when the ending point is to the left of the starting point — ensuring all arrows bulge up (down if bend is negative); if -y, the bend angle is flipped when the ending point is above the starting point — ensuring all arrows bulge right (left if bend is negative); the sign is negated for +x and +y.

arrow(data, options)

Plot.arrow(inequality, {x1: "POP_1980", y1: "R90_10_1980", x2: "POP_2015", y2: "R90_10_2015", bend: true})

Returns a new arrow with the given data and options.