[R] Problems with graphical devices, e.g., png(), pdf(): blurry graphical output

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Wed Dec 17 09:54:32 CET 2008

Your PDF problems indicate a broken viewer.  How were you viewing PDF?

You have also not told us how you view PNG, but you would expect 
anti-aliased output to be blurry when viewed at 100% (or more).  You need 
to be careful not to have anti-aliasing turned on in the viewer as well as 
in the file producer.  Note that R does give you lots of options to tune 
the output to your intended use of it, so you have no cause to complain if 
you use an inappropriate set.

Do remember that you cannot say 'the graphical output is blurry': it is 
just a binary file.  Far too often, useRs blame R for issues in the 
viewers they use.

On Tue, 16 Dec 2008, Y-H Chen wrote:

> On my current home system, I am getting undesirable output from
> graphical devices such as png() and pdf(). The graphical output is
> blurry. I haven't experienced the problem on other systems. As you
> will see from the attached text file (more information on this file
> below), the problem does not occur when type='Xlib' is forced. The
> blurriness is more severe with bitmap output (yes, I am viewing the
> bitmap files at 100%), but occurs with pdf output as well.
> Software details: Fedora 10, with at least the following packages:
> -- R, R-core, R-devel
> -- cairo, cairo-devel
> -- pixman, pixman-devel
> -- libpng, libpng-devel
> -- poppler
> Everything is "current" and updated via Fedora's repository. R was
> installed via Fedora's repository.
> I've attached some commands and output in a text file. This file includes:
> (1) hardware information
> (2) information about my R installation
> (3) code for simple R graphics, with comments re output, plus URLs for
> the corresponding graphical output
> Any advice would be really appreciated.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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