BookmarkSubscribeRSS Feed
Calcite | Level 5

Hello, I am programming boxplots using proc boxplot with a grouping variable (trt)

The code goes like this:

proc boxplot data = test3 ;

symbol value=dot height=1 c=blue;

plot var1* time (trt) / cframe   = vligb

                        cboxes   = dagr

                        cboxfill =ywh ;

My question is whether there is a way to fill the boxes with aternative colors - since I am comparing 2 treatment groups?  The x-axis is arranged such that for for time=1 I have 2 boxes above - one for trt A and one for trt B.  After that there is time=2 with 2 boxes above - A and B.  I want to differentiate between A and B.

Thanks in advance.

Meteorite | Level 14

If none of the built-in boxplots (proc boxplot, gtl, or gplot with interpol=box) support this, you might have to use some custom programming to create it.

Here's an example I wrote, that draws basic boxplot geometry with annotate - it would require quite a bit of further customizing to get the exact boxplot you're wanting.  You could programmatically control the color of each box (based on values in the data), etc.  I guess the 'tough' part would be visually/spatially "grouping" the bars together, since the annotate coordinates are based on gplot, and gplot doesn't have support for official groups.

Here's the code:

I describe how the code works, in detail, in my book "SAS/Graph: Beyond the Basics" - it's Example 10, on pp. 65-70.

Calcite | Level 5

Thanks Rob.

Your code looks quite complicated. It will take me some time.  I was hoping for a more "built in" solution. Is there a way to use annotate (with which I'm really not very familiar ) to color every other box? And can I use annotate with proc boxplot?

Meteorite | Level 14

The answer depends on which release you are using. 

At SAS 9.2 - A simple (non-grouped) Horizontal box plot can be made as below:

proc sgplot;

  hbox horsepower / category=type;



At SAS 9.3 - A grouped Horizontal box plot can be made as below:

proc sgplot;

  hbox horsepower / category=type group=origin groupdisplay=cluster;



But, you may not have SAS 9.3, in which case you can use SAS 9.2 GTL by overlaying two box plots, and use DiscreteOffsets to position them side by side.  See this article on Distribution of Max LFT.

Rhodochrosite | Level 12

hi ... here's a 'non-SG solution' ...

I made up some data similar to yours (sort of, maybe you can tweak your data a little to match what I used)

I used the CBOXFILL=(variable) option to change colors according to treatment ...

data x;

array color(2) $4 _temporary_ ('red' 'blue');

do time=1 to 5;

do trt=1 to 2;

* vary color by treatment;



* 100 observations at each time/treatment combo;

do k=1 to 100;

   var1 = ceil(trt*500*ranuni(0));





drop k;


proc sort data=x;

by n;


proc format;

value trt

1='TRT:A' 2='TRT:B';

value tm

1='TIME 1' 2='TIME 2' 3='TIME 3' 4='TIME 4' 5='TIME 5';


goptions reset=all gunit=pct ftext='calibri' htext=2;

axis1 value=none label=none major=none ;

axis2 label=('VARIABLE 1');

* white space around plot;

title1 ls=2;

title2 a=90 ls=2;

title3 a=-90 ls=2;

footnote1 ls=2;

proc boxplot data=x;

plot var1*n(trt time) / cboxfill=(c) haxis=axis1 vaxis=axis2;

format trt trt. time tm.;



Calcite | Level 5

Thank you everyone for your help.

I got the box plots to alternate colors by assigning the colors based on the treatment and then using the cboxfill=(color variable name) as described above.



Time is running out to save with the early bird rate. Register by Friday, March 1 for just $695 - $100 off the standard rate.


Check out the agenda and get ready for a jam-packed event featuring workshops, super demos, breakout sessions, roundtables, inspiring keynotes and incredible networking events. 


Register now!

How to Concatenate Values

Learn how use the CAT functions in SAS to join values from multiple variables into a single value.

Find more tutorials on the SAS Users YouTube channel.

Click image to register for webinarClick image to register for webinar

Classroom Training Available!

Select SAS Training centers are offering in-person courses. View upcoming courses for:

View all other training opportunities.

Discussion stats
  • 5 replies
  • 1 like
  • 4 in conversation