[R] dotplots with error bars

Colin Wahl biowahl at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 23:51:18 CET 2012

Does anyone have any recommendations for producing dotplots with error
bars? Are there packages available for this? I searched far and wide
and cannot find a suitable option.

I am trying to produce publication-quality figures for my thesis
results. Dotplots (Cleveland dotplots) are a much better form of
summarizing barchart-type data. It does not appear that any of the
main plotting packages in r support dotplots with error bars.
Considering the benefit of these plots, I find it difficult to believe
that they have not been fully integrated into R.

I did find a function "dotplots.errors" available here:

However, I have found this function absurdly difficult to use when
customizing figures (ordering displays properly, or just simple
getting the function to work.)

I've been struggling for the last few hours to figure out the error:
"error using packet 1 sum not meaningful for factors." Unlike other
packages, this function doesnt have a ?dotplots.errors to help guide
troubleshooting. I presume this is a technicality due to the a numeric
variable being identified as a factor. However, I've double checked
that all the numeric columns in the data frame are not factors, and
the error persists.

I'd really prefer not just calling it quits and resorting to
old-school sloppy bar charts, but if thats what I need to do to finish
this in a timely manner, then so be it.

Thank you,
M.S. candidate
WWU, Biology dept.

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