R-beta: cex

Martyn Plummer plummer at iarc.fr
Mon Mar 9 13:09:25 CET 1998

Since the graphics code is being overhauled, it probably
isn't worth reporting graphics bugs, but I would like to
ask a question about the behaviour of "cex" when supplied
as an argument to plotting functions. Is it meant to be
an absolute value, or is it relative to the current value of
par("cex")? The current behaviour of R is mixed.

For example, "text" interprets a cex argument as relative
to par("cex"), wheras "axis" interprets it as an absolute value.
Note that "axis" also permanently resets the "cex" parameter,
although for some reason a call to par("cex") doesn't show this.
e.g after axis(..., cex=2), the next graphics function will behave
as if you had typed par(cex=2), although par("cex") will return
a value of 1, or whatever it was before.

I'm sure this bug has been fixed already, but if you could confirm
that the cex parameter should be _relative_ and not absolute it
will help me to decide how my graphs should behave.

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