[Stata] Graph: How to customize graph styles in STATA

How to change graph style

You can change the scheme of the graph using the following command before running the command for plotting.

set scheme stylename

If you want the scheme lean1 to be the default scheme, you can change it by using the following command.

set scheme stylename, perm

lean scheme

If you install lean1 and lean2 scheme, it offers a scheme that is black and white, suitable for publishable style graphs.

search lean1

Since it’s not on ssc archive, you need to install it by searching it. After installation, you can not set the scheme as follows.

set scheme lean1
Juul, S. (2003). Lean mainstream schemes for Stata 8 graphicsThe Stata Journal3(3), 295-301.

The only difference between lean1 and lean2 is the auxiliary line.

plotplain scheme

ssc install blindschemes, replace
set scheme plotplain

Another user-created scheme, plotplain, also offers a great publishable style graph with auxiliary lines on the x- and y-axis.

set scheme plotplainblind

The plotplainblid option shows the graph that is not filled like this.

cleanplots scheme

The cleanplots is a Stata graphics scheme that has recently been developed based on plotplain with more updates for the design. Please check the author’s website for the difference between cleanplots and plotplain: https://www.trentonmize.com/software/cleanplots

ssc install cleanplots
set scheme cleanplots
Compared to plotplain, the cleanplots scheme return more colorful graph

schemepack: Graph styles like ggplot in R


One of the major updates of STATA version 18 is the graph styles, which are more similar to ggplot in R. If you use a lower version of STATA or would love to try different styles, Dr. Naqvi has developed a fantastic user-created command! It is really simple to use, just two lines of code.

ssc install schemepack, replace // instsall package
set scheme gg_tableau // set schemed that you would love to use

You can browse a lot of options here in the developer’s GitHub: https://github.com/asjadnaqvi/stata-schemepack

My recommendations are 1) cblind1 (color-blind friendly), 2) gg_tableau (similar to ggplot graphs), 3) white_tableau (similar to STATA 18 updated scheme), and 4) white_hue. You can see what you like the most and then just set it up with a single line of code: set scheme schemename.

  • July 25, 2023