Sorting Shapes on an X/Y Plot

By using the Plot class directly, it is possible to render different shapes on the same graph. Let’s say we have the following data, where we want the “alpha” data points to be Circles and the “delta” data points to be Lines:

var data = [
  {id: "alpha", time: 4, value: 240},
  {id: "alpha", time: 5, value: 120},
  {id: "alpha", time: 6, value: 180},
  {id: "delta", time: 4, value: 240},
  {id: "delta", time: 5, value: 120},
  {id: "delta", time: 6, value: 180}

First, when creating a new Plot visualization, we need to describe how the chart should be using our data keys:

var chart = new d3plus.Plot()

In addition to using the shape method to define which data points should be which shapes, we need to set the X-axis to be discrete in order for the Lines to render correctly. This tells d3plus that it should treat all X values as separate data points, which allows for drawing charts like Line Plots and Bar Charts.

  .shape(function(d) {
    if ( === "delta") {
      return "Line";
    else {
      return "Circle";

Finally, we can use the shapeSort to modify the default ordering of the shapes. Shapes are drawn in groups, so when moving a certain shape on top of another, all shapes of that type will move together. By default, Circles are drawn on top of Lines, but in our case here, let’s reverse that:

var order = ["Circle", "Line"];

    Line: {
      strokeLinecap: "round",
      strokeWidth: 5
  .shapeSort(function(a, b) {
    return order.indexOf(a) - order.indexOf(b);