[R] Graphics output device

Terry Westley twestley at buffalo.veridian.com
Fri Oct 1 16:08:05 CEST 1999

On Friday, October 01, 1999, Prof Brian D Ripley wrote:
> You don't tell us the platform you are using, but I guess Unix (because of
> xv). Powerpoint only runs on Windows to my knowledge, and the Windows
> version of R already has saves to the sort of files Powerpoint likes, for
> example Windows metafiles and .gifs.  Because you can use the
> vector-format
> metafiles this avoids multiple rasterization effects. (It would be not at
> all easy to do wmf on Unix versions of R.)
> R 0.65.1 will have a savePlot function in Windows (and rwtest999 does
> already) to effectively select the menu option to do so.

I agree with Michael Lapsley that Unix R needs the ability to write
some graphic file format.  My application runs on (Sparc) Solaris,
so generating and printing Postscript files is convenient most of
the time.  But, very often, my users want to take the output and
put it in Powerpoint.  (There's no way they will use LaTeX.) Also,
you can expect people to want, more and more, to put plots in web
pages (see http://www.math.montana.edu/Rweb/ for example).

It's not pretty, but my solution was adapted from what Jeff Banfield
did with Rweb:

1) generate postscript file in R
2) convert to ppm with ghostscript
3) use pnm utilities to convert to gif

Anyone who wants more detail may write me, or you can download
Jeff's Rweb code.

My preference would be that the Unix versions of R be capable
of performing a savePlot function to pnm format or directly
to gif or png.

Terry J. Westley, Software Systems Engineering Supervisor
Veridian Engineering, Calspan Operations
P.O. Box 400, Buffalo, NY 14225
twestley at buffalo.veridian.com    http://www.veridian.com

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