is it possible to display plots in an emacs buffer?

A.J. Rossini rossini at
Fri May 21 19:29:27 CEST 2004

"Charles C. Berry" <cberry at> writes:

> On Fri, 21 May 2004, Angel Lopez wrote:
> [snip]
>> I'll explain the idea a bit more. When I am working in emacs and make a 
>> plot, a new X11 window opens, I see the plot and to get back to emacs I 
>> have to close or minimize the X11, I loose quite a lot of time doing 
>> this every day. Wouldn't it be great if the plots could be displayed 
>> directly inside an emacs buffer?
> After seeing the responses to this I wonder if I have missed something, 
> but...
> This sounds like a job for the desktop environment to handle. 
> What desktop do you use??
> On KDE and Windows (at least) 'alt-TAB' will allow you to maximize and/or
> bring-to-front another window. On various Solaris desktops the 'front' and
> 'open' keys on the Sun keyboard handle those operations.
> Maybe something similar applies for your desktop.

That's one use-case and solution.

Here's another:

Create a means of hinting that a code set generates a figure, add 2
buttons (hyperlinks/actions) in-lined near the plot or par commands,
and have a thumbnail present.

Use of the buttons: 
1. bring up a viewer of the png/ps/pdf figure,
2. (re)generate the figure

hinting code be an Sweave code chunk with fig=TRUE, or some other

There was (still is) a very nice XEmacs-only Noweb mode which adds
buttons for navigation between code chunks AND REFERENCE hints, when
noweb-style referencing (currently ignored by Sweave) are used.

If only we'd used:


@ %ref %fig TRUE %option Setting

style parameters instead of 



Then this would have been a trivial extension (of course, only for
XEmacs, not a general solution, sigh...).


rossini at   
Biomedical and Health Informatics   University of Washington
Biostatistics, SCHARP/HVTN          Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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