[R] RFC: default background on lattice plots

John Fox jfox at mcmaster.ca
Sat Mar 11 19:29:34 CET 2006

Dear Deepayan,

As you say, it's currently very easy to change settings (which is what I do
routinely), but since you asked, I much prefer the settings in
canonical.theme("pdf") and therefore would prefer that the windows() device
use these settings as a default (independent of the printing issue).

Regards, and thanks for the lattice package,


John Fox
Department of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada L8S 4M4

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch 
> [mailto:r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of Deepayan Sarkar
> Sent: Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:56 PM
> To: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: [R] RFC: default background on lattice plots
> Hi,
> Many of the complaints about lattice stem from the default 
> settings (a.k.a. theme) on screen devices, which has a grey 
> background. It's easy enough to change this, even 
> pseudo-permanently through a startup script, so this is not a 
> serious problem. However, there's one situation where this 
> has an unfortunate effect: on Windows, someone might
> 1. create a plot (on screen)
> 2. right click on it and print
> which will print with the grey background and all (which is 
> not a good thing). Unfortunately, this is so easy to do that 
> saying `this is not the way to do it' is pointless 
> (especially to students). I don't know of a way to change the 
> settings when this is done (and that's not the goal of 
> dev.print anyway). The one time I tried something similar on 
> S-Plus (Linux) it made the background white but retained the other
> (light) colors, which is not a good solution either, even if 
> it could be done.
> All this is to say that I'm inclined to change the default 
> settings for the windows() device before R 2.3.0 is released. 
> The current plan is to use the PDF defaults, which you can 
> view on-screen using
> library(lattice)
> show.settings(canonical.theme("pdf"))
> No changes are planned for any other device.
> Not being a Windows user, I don't really care either way, so 
> I'm open to suggestions.
> If you have any comments or opinions, please let me know 
> (preferably off-list, unless it's something of general interest).
> Deepayan
> --
> http://www.stat.wisc.edu/~deepayan/
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