[R] Set window title for plot on any OS

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Sat Jul 13 14:40:37 CEST 2013

On 13-07-13 1:33 PM, Simon Zehnder wrote:
> Dear R-Users,
> I am writing a package using S4 classes. In the generic method "plot" I want to set the title for the plotting window as I will have several windows and window titles help the users to distinguish the graphics without putting a title into the plot itself (this can be done by users whenever they want)
> So I created a helper function .setDeviceTitle which I called after the plot has been done:
> ".setDeviceTitle" <- function(title = "title", dev = dev.cur()) {
> 	dev <- names(dev)[1]
> 	## check for OS ##
> 	if (dev == "windows") {
> 		windows(title = title)
> 	} else if (dev == "X11") {
> 		X11(title = title)
> 	} else {
> 		quartz(title = title)
> 	}
> }
> The result is a new device with the title in addition to the old. Is it possible to give a window a title after the plot has been done? If not: Before I plot the device I cannot know what device it will be, so I thought about a check via capabilities():
> if (any(names(capabilities()) == "X11")) {
> 	X11(title = title)
> }
> else if (any(names(capabilities)) == "windows") {
> 	windows(title = title)
> } else {
> 	quartz(title = title)
> }
> I want to have a safe method, which works on each OS R can run. How would you solve the problem?

Use dev.new() rather than picking a particular device.  If all the 
possible devices support the "title" argument, then


will be fine.  If you might need more customization (or want to protect 
against a user who chooses a device that doesn't have "title" as an 
argument), use getOption("device") to examine the call that will be used.

Duncan Murdoch

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