[R] RE: Mixing text and graphics in PDF

Peter Dalgaard BSA p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Thu Nov 21 22:31:03 CET 2002

"Wright, Kevin" <kevin.wright at pioneer.com> writes:

> I guess I should have emphasize the word "easy" in the original post.  I am
> aware of Sweave and have used it to produce terrific quality output, but it
> takes quite a bit of effort to get that quality (setting up tex document,
> erasing previous graphics, running the script, tex'ing the output, etc).
> HTML code with separate graphic images seems even more work.
> I was hoping for a non-presentation quality way to dump both graphics and
> text straight from R into pdf file using the pdf() device.  Something akin
> to the way a Mathematica or Maple session looks like.
> Wouldn't it be nice, for example, to fit a linear model, then send both the
> residual plots and the anova table straight to the PDF file for easy storage
> in a single document?  Doesn't need to need to be fancy.
> The idea of a Mathematica-style transcript session is quite appealing to me
> the more I think about it, but might be too-much work for the R community to
> create.  Even the commercial software S-Plus lacks such reporting
> capabilities.  Think--"summary" methods could produce text AND graphics--an
> intriguing idea.

HTML output is not all that far-fetched. Or perhaps XML. We could in
principle have all our print methods replaced by HTML output methods
(we might need to exercise a little more discipline to get rid of
explicit cat() and print() statements, but I'm not even sure that is
necessary). The default output method could simply be a plaintext
wrapper, like the HTML


and we could have some fairly obvious alignment structures for
vectors, arrays, tables, etc. It's not an afternoon's work, but it's
definitely doable. (And I wouldn't be too surprised if someone was
already playing with the idea...)

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)             FAX: (+45) 35327907
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