The following graphics devices are currently available:
On Windows only, the graphics device for Windows (on screen, to printer and to Windows metafile).
Write PDF graphics commands to a file
Writes PostScript graphics commands to a file
Device for XFIG graphics file format
bitmap pseudo-device via
Ghostscript (if available).
Writes TeX/PicTeX graphics commands to a file (of historical interest only)
The following devices will be functional if R was compiled to use them (they exist but will return with a warning on other systems):
PDF and PostScript devices based on cairo graphics.
SVG device based on cairo graphics
PNG bitmap device
JPEG bitmap device
BMP bitmap device
TIFF bitmap device
On Unix-alikes (incl. Mac) only:
The graphics device for the X11 windowing system
The graphics device for the macOS
native Quartz 2d graphics system. (This is only functional on
macOS where it can be used from the
R.app GUI and from the
command line: but it will display on the local screen even for a
If no device is open, calling any high-level graphics function will cause
a device to be opened. Which device is determined by
options("device") which is initially set as the most
appropriate for each platform: a screen device for most interactive use and
pdf() is used.
It is possible for an R package (or an R front-end such as RStudio) to provide further graphics devices and several packages on CRAN do so. These include other devices outputting SVG and PGF/TiKZ (TeX-based graphics, see http://pgf.sourceforge.net/).
The individual help files for further information on any of the devices listed here;
pdf.options for how to
On Unix-alikes only:
capabilities to see if
quartz and the cairo-based devices are available.
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