[R] exporting high quality graphics from R in Mac OSX

Rob Knell R.Knell at qmul.ac.uk
Thu Jul 22 13:25:21 CEST 2004

Hi there

The default option for saving graphics from R (1.9.1) on my Mac is as a 
pdf file. If I open the file in Acrobat reader it looks really good and 
crisp, and is obviously saved as vector graphics, since I can zoom in 
as much as I like and it continues to look really nice. If I import it 
into MS Word (from office 2000), or Textedit, however, it imports it as 
a bitmap and unless I save it as a pretty big image and then shrink it 
in size by about three times after import it looks blurry and 
pixellated. The save it as a really big picture and shrink it option is 
bearable, but hardly elegant.

I'm trying to persuade some other people in my department that we 
should move to using R as a standard analysis package, and this is 
currently one strike against it - it's difficult to export 
decent-looking high-res graphics. If I want to persuade people to use 
R, I need to be able to give them an easy way to do this. There are 
some solutions like importing the text and then the graphics into 
acrobat, or installing ghostscript and trying it with the graphics as 
postscript, but obviously people will respond to this with 'why should 
I waste time and or money doing this when I can just cut and paste out 
of Excel/Statistica/Minitab'. I realise that this is arguably more of a 
problem with Word or Textedit, but does anyone know of a good easy 
solution to this that I can use as part of my program to evangelise my 

Thanks for any help

Rob Knell

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