Text wrapping in Vega JS Charts (SVG and Canvas)

tejesh profile image tejesh p ・2 min read

Creating a Bar Chart using Vega JS library is shown here.

The sample data in the above tutorial has alphabets as Labels. In real-world, data labels can be long. For example, a bar chart showing sales of various products.

  "data": [
      "name": "table",
      "values": [
        {"category": "Meat and Seafood", "amount": 28},
        {"category": "Milk and milk products", "amount": 55},
        {"category": "Ice cream", "amount": 43},
        {"category": "Cereals and Breakfast Foods", "amount": 91},
        {"category": "Nuts and seeds", "amount": 81},
        {"category": "Seasoning and spices", "amount": 53},
        {"category": "Sweets, candy, chocolate", "amount": 19},
        {"category": "Thin crispy breads", "amount": 87}

Replacing with above product data in the example tutorial would render the below bar chart.

Long overlapping x-axis labels bar chart

A simple way to remove the overlapping of labels is to rotate the labels by an angle.

  "axes": [
    { "orient": "bottom", "scale": "xscale", "labelAngle": -45 },
    { "orient": "left", "scale": "yscale" }

To rotate x-axis labels, labelAngle property is used in the code snippet.

The labels no more overlap with neighboring labels but are overlapping with bars.

labels overlapping on top of bars

text type mark documentation mentions about a solution to wrap text.

*text property*

The text to display. This text may be truncated if the rendered length of the text exceeds the limit parameter. 
For versions ≥ 5.7, a string array specifies multiple lines of text. 

When x-axis vega config is written such that labels text is an array, each item in the array is rendered in a single line.

  "axes": [
    { "orient": "bottom", "scale": "xscale",
      "encode": {
        "labels": {
          "update": {
            "text": {"signal": "split(datum.value, ' ')"}

    { "orient": "left", "scale": "yscale" }

By default, vega gets the labels on x-axis from the field mentioned in definition of xscale. To transform the labels, encode block is used.

split(datum.value, ' ') results in an array and each item in the array is on a single line.

Labels wrapped

Posted on May 6 by:

tejesh profile

tejesh p




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