When you are producing graphics in R, the default option does not save your graphs for later review. You can change this in several ways. My comments will discuss the options for R running under Microsoft Windows. There are similar approaches that work for other systems.
windows() function will create a new window in R that
graphics will appear in. You don’t need to use this function because
the first time you use a function like
function will be called with all the default options. If you do call the
windows() function, you can set an argument, record, to the value of
This will allow you to use the PgUp and PgDn keys to review the sequence of graphs. A closely related command is
which will prompt you before drawing a new graph on the screen.
Second, you can copy a bitmap version of a graph to the clipboard using the Control-C key combination. To copy a metafile version of the graph to the clipboard, use the Control-W key combination. The metafile can be scaled more easily to different sizes, but some systems interpret metafiles differently than others so the appearance of your graph may change. The bitmap is a more standard implementation, so it will not change, but be sure that the graph window is sized appropriately so your bitmap is not too small or too large.
Third, you can send the graphs directly to a printer with the
win.printer() function. If you have the appropriate software, you can
print to a PDF printer.
Fourth, you can produce PDF files directly by using the
function. You specify the location of the file using the
win.metafile() functions work
similarly. When you are done with producing the graphic image, use the
dev.close() function to close the file and make it usable by other
By default, the file that you write your graphic image to will be stored in the directory that R is stored in. On my system it is
and you can change this default directory with the
You can also specify a path in the file, but be careful. Either use the
forward slash (/) to separate directories in the path, or use a double
backslash (\\). A single backslash causes problems because R has
special codes like \n to represent a new line.
So a file name like
will work just fine, but
The pdf() functions will place multiple graphs on the same file on
consecutive pages, but the other functions will overwrite the previous
graph unless you specify different file names. The symbol
in a filename will create a numeric sequence (1, 2, 3, etc.). You can
use one or more trailing zeros with
%02d (01, 02, 03, etc.) or
(001, 002, 003, etc.). The default filename that R uses is
Rplot%03d with the appropriate extension.
Related weblog entries