Skip to content

Scale bytes into human friendly units. Can use either SI units (e.g. kB = 1000 bytes) or binary units (e.g. kiB = 1024 bytes). See Units of Information on Wikipedia for more details.


label_bytes(units = "auto_si", accuracy = 1, scale = 1, ...)



Unit to use. Should either one of:

  • "kB", "MB", "GB", "TB", "PB", "EB", "ZB", and "YB" for SI units (base 1000).

  • "kiB", "MiB", "GiB", "TiB", "PiB", "EiB", "ZiB", and "YiB" for binary units (base 1024).

  • auto_si or auto_binary to automatically pick the most appropriate unit for each value.


A number to round to. Use (e.g.) 0.01 to show 2 decimal places of precision. If NULL, the default, uses a heuristic that should ensure breaks have the minimum number of digits needed to show the difference between adjacent values.

Applied to rescaled data.


A scaling factor: x will be multiplied by scale before formatting. This is useful if the underlying data is very small or very large.


Arguments passed on to number


Additional text to display before the number. The suffix is applied to absolute value before style_positive and style_negative are processed so that prefix = "$" will yield (e.g.) -$1 and ($1).


Additional text to display after the number.


Character used between every 3 digits to separate thousands.


The character to be used to indicate the numeric decimal point.


A string that determines the style of positive numbers:

  • "none" (the default): no change, e.g. 1.

  • "plus": preceded by +, e.g. +1.

  • "space": preceded by a Unicode "figure space", i.e., a space equally as wide as a number or +. Compared to "none", adding a figure space can ensure numbers remain properly aligned when they are left- or right-justified.


A string that determines the style of negative numbers:

  • "hyphen" (the default): preceded by a standard hypen -, e.g. -1.

  • "minus", uses a proper Unicode minus symbol. This is a typographical nicety that ensures - aligns with the horizontal bar of the the horizontal bar of +.

  • "parens", wrapped in parentheses, e.g. (1).


Named numeric vector that allows you to rescale large (or small) numbers and add a prefix. Built-in helpers include:

  • cut_short_scale(): [10^3, 10^6) = K, [10^6, 10^9) = M, [10^9, 10^12) = B, [10^12, Inf) = T.

  • cut_long_scale(): [10^3, 10^6) = K, [10^6, 10^12) = M, [10^12, 10^18) = B, [10^18, Inf) = T.

  • cut_si(unit): uses standard SI units.

If you supply a vector c(a = 100, b = 1000), absolute values in the range [0, 100) will not be rescaled, absolute values in the range [100, 1000) will be divided by 100 and given the suffix "a", and absolute values in the range [1000, Inf) will be divided by 1000 and given the suffix "b". If the division creates an irrational value (or one with many digits), the cut value below will be tried to see if it improves the look of the final label.


Logical, if FALSE, values are right-justified to a common width (see base::format()).


A labeller function that takes a numeric vector of breaks and returns a character vector of labels.

See also

Other labels for continuous scales: label_currency(), label_number_auto(), label_number_si(), label_ordinal(), label_parse(), label_percent(), label_pvalue(), label_scientific()

Other labels for log scales: label_log(), label_number_si(), label_scientific()


demo_continuous(c(1, 1e6))
#> scale_x_continuous()

demo_continuous(c(1, 1e6), labels = label_bytes())
#> scale_x_continuous(labels = label_bytes())

# Auto units are particularly nice on log scales
demo_log10(c(1, 1e7), labels = label_bytes())
#> scale_x_log10(labels = label_bytes())

# You can also set the units
demo_continuous(c(1, 1e6), labels = label_bytes("kB"))
#> scale_x_continuous(labels = label_bytes("kB"))

# You can also use binary units where a megabyte is defined as
# (1024) ^ 2 bytes rather than (1000) ^ 2. You'll need to override
# the default breaks to make this more informative.
demo_continuous(c(1, 1024^2),
  breaks = breaks_width(250 * 1024),
  labels = label_bytes("auto_binary")
#> scale_x_continuous(breaks = breaks_width(250 * 1024), labels = label_bytes("auto_binary"))