Black Lives Matter. Please consider donating to Black Girls Code today.
Learn how to use COVID-19 data in open source Dash apps. Register for the Sept 23rd webinar with IQT!

Add shaded rectangle with select Box coordinates

This is a slightly different approach (with the same goal) as a post I added four days ago (Possible to shade between 4 line traces that form a box?).

Basically, I am trying to create an application where if a user uses Box Select tool in Plotly, then a filled rectangle will appear alongside the Box Select. In the previous post, I attempted to accomplish this by calling Plotly.addTrace() four times to create the four edges of the rectangle. However, I am now trying to call Plotly.addTrace() once to create a rectangle object (type: rect).

I based some of the syntax off a post about Python Plotly ( However, I am working with Plotly in R. Is there any similar rectangle object that I could use in Plotly R?

Below is MWE showing my code.


ui <- basicPage(

server <- function(input, output) {

p <- ggplot(mtcars, aes(x = wt, y = mpg)) + geom_point(alpha=0) + xlim(0,5) +ylim(-3,3)
gp <- ggplotly§

pcpDat <- data.frame(ID = paste0(“ID”,1:10), A=rnorm(10,-1), B=rnorm(10,-1), C=rnorm(10,-1), D=rnorm(10,1), E=rnorm(10,1), F=rnorm(10,1))
pcpDat$ID <- as.character(pcpDat$ID)
colNms <- colnames(pcpDat[, c(2:(ncol(pcpDat)))])
nVar <- length(colNms)

output$plot1 <- renderPlotly({
gp %>% onRender("
function(el, x, data) {

  var pcpDat = data.pcpDat
  function range(start, stop, step){
  var a=[start], b=start;
  return a;
  var Traces = [];
  var dLength = pcpDat.length
  var vLength = data.nVar
  var cNames = data.colNms
  for (a=0; a<dLength; a++){
  xArr = [];
  yArr = [];
  for (b=0; b<vLength; b++){
  var pcpLine = {
  x: xArr,
  y: yArr,
  mode: 'lines',
  line: {
  color: 'orange',
  width: 1
  opacity: 0.9,
  Plotly.addTraces(, Traces);

  el.on('plotly_selected', function(e) {
  var dLength = pcpDat.length
  var selectedPCP = []
  var xMin = e.range.x[0]
  var xMax = e.range.x[1]
  var yMin = e.range.y[0]
  var yMax = e.range.y[1]

  console.log([xMin, xMax, yMin, yMax])

  var Traces = []
  var drawRect = {
    type: 'rect',
     x0: xMin,
     y0: yMin,
     x1: xMax,
     y1: yMax,
     line: {
        color: 'green',
        width: 1
    fillcolor: 'green'
  Plotly.addTraces(, Traces);
  }", data = list(pcpDat = pcpDat, nVar = nVar, colNms = colNms))})

shinyApp(ui, server)