[R] how to plot and save plots in batch mode

Greg Snow Greg.Snow at imail.org
Tue Nov 25 17:00:57 CET 2008

Why not just plot all your graphs directly to a file rather than sending them to a windows device that you are not looking at, then copying from there.  The pdf and postscript devices will hold several plots in a single file, or the png device (and others) will automatically create 1 file per graph and you can either set the name for each, or use a set of sequential names.  This should be easier, more straight forward, and more portable.

Hope this helps,

Gregory (Greg) L. Snow Ph.D.
Statistical Data Center
Intermountain Healthcare
greg.snow at imail.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-
> project.org] On Behalf Of Kinoko
> Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 3:12 AM
> To: r-help at r-project.org
> Subject: [R] how to plot and save plots in batch mode
> Dear list,
> This is not a question but a rather short note how to save a plot
> if it was created in batch mode.
> It took me like 2 hours to figure it out, I hope it can save time
> for those who - like me - are not really fast in picking up
> diosyncrasies of R. (as far as I remember I had no problems whatsoever
> batch plotting in
> gnuplot, matplotlib, matlab... )
> The problem I had was that while  I could plot and save my data using
> RGui,
> the same script did not work in batch mode.
> plot(x,y, bla-bla... )
> ...
> dev.set (2)
> dev.print (device=png, file=outFile, bla-bla)
> But this does not work in BATCH mode.
> The error msg is:
> "... can only print from a screen device"
> Sure, the plotting window does not pop up in batch mode.
> What I had to do was to to put a command:
> windows()
> before starting the plot. Now I can save my plots in batch mode
> Well, I am more than sure, that there are more elegant solutions
> without invoking the window...
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