This question is similar to this one: Use geom_smooth with transformed y

In fact, it's the same one, it's just that the solution provided there no longer works.

What I want to do is plot a geom_smooth that has log(y) on the y side of the formula. If done directly in the formula argument, it gives a strange result. So, I will use the same example used in the question that I mentioned:

#This works:
 myplot <- qplot(speed, dist, data=cars)
(myplot + geom_smooth(method="lm", formula=y~log(x)))

#does not work
(myplot + geom_smooth(method="lm", formula=log(y)~x))

#no longer works:
(myplot + geom_smooth(method = "glm", formula = y~x,
                  family = gaussian(link = 'log')))

What I am after is a line like this:

myplot + geom_line(aes(x=speed, y=exp(predict(lm(log(dist)~speed)))))
  • are you still there OP?
    – Hack-R
    Dec 16, 2016 at 19:00
  • If the built-in help pages are cumbersome to wade through docs.ggplot2.org/current/# has the latest info for ggplot2 and it's almost 100% necessary to hit that for anything but the most basic plots if you're upgrading from an older version these days. many major, brekaing API changes.
    – hrbrmstr
    Dec 16, 2016 at 19:17
  • Hi, so I checked it, but couldn't find the right answer, because of the removal "family" argument. But I'll save the link here for future reference! Thanks! Dec 17, 2016 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


Yes, you're right, it seems the necessary syntax has changed a bit:

(myplot + geom_smooth(method = "glm", formula = y~x,
                      method.args = list(family = gaussian(link = 'log'))))

enter image description here

  • 1
    Yes! I could swear I had tried messing with the method.args argument, but couldn't figure it out properly. This is working now. Thanks man! Dec 17, 2016 at 1:13
  • 2
    I was using method = "lm" instead of "glm". Gotta pay attention on that! Dec 17, 2016 at 1:21
  • 3
    Why is it that the log link works, but not formula = 'log(y) ~ log(x)'? Jun 9, 2020 at 3:36

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