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Devices {grDevices}

List of Graphical Devices
R 3.0.2


The following graphics devices are currently available:

  • pdf Write PDF graphics commands to a file
  • postscript Writes PostScript graphics commands to a file
  • xfig Device for XFIG graphics file format
  • bitmap bitmap pseudo-device via Ghostscript (if available).
  • pictex 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):

  • cairo_pdf, cairo_ps PDF and PostScript devices based on cairo graphics.
  • svg SVG device based on cairo graphics.
  • png PNG bitmap device
  • jpeg JPEG bitmap device
  • bmp BMP bitmap device
  • tiff TIFF bitmap device


If no device is open, using a high-level graphics function will cause a device to be opened. Which device is given by options("device") which is initially set as the most appropriate for each platform: a screen device for most interactive use and pdf (or the setting of R_DEFAULT_DEVICE) otherwise. The exception is interactive use under Unix if no screen device is known to be available, when pdf() is used.

It is possible for an R package 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

See Also

The individual help files for further information on any of the devices listed here; ps.options and pdf.options for how to customize devices.

dev.interactive, dev.cur, dev.print,, image, dev2bitmap.


## Not run:
## open the default screen device on this platform if no device is
## open
if(dev.cur() == 1)
## End(Not run)

Documentation reproduced from R 3.0.2. License: GPL-2.