[R] R-graphics printing greeks

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Thu Oct 18 18:54:08 CEST 2007

You want a symbol, so

for (i in 1:10) text(7, order[i], as.name(greeks[i]))

(or as.symbol) gets you from character string to symbol.

BTW1: please check the code you post: yours doesn't work.

BTW2: the "o" is "omicron": you can see a list of the names at 

BTW3: these are mathematical Greek symbols, not modern Greek letters. 
You get the latter a different way.

On Thu, 18 Oct 2007, Dan Avery wrote:

> I have tried to print a table of greek alphabet names and symbols
> without success. I can print one character at a time but can't seem to
> find a way to automate an entire list of the symbols. Some of the code I
> have tried is below. I have searched on help, worked the examples in the
> December 2002 R Help Desk article and plotmath but have  not been able
> to find a way to accomplish the automation. There must be a way.
> Any help would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks
> Dan Avery
> order<-seq(2,6.5,.5)
> greeks<-c( "alpha","beta","gamma","delta","epsilon", "zeta", "eta",
> "theta","iota" ,"kappa",  "lambda" , "mu",
> "nu","xi","o","pi","rho","sigma","tau","upsilon","phi",chi", "psi" ,
> "omega" )
> plot(1:10,1:10,type="n")
> text(2,8,expression(alpha)) #this works
> for (i in 1:10) text(2,order[i],greeks[i])# produces a list of the first
> 10 names not the symbols
> for (i in 1:10) text(5,order[i],substitute(eval(greeks[i]))) #produces
> 10 instances of eval(greeks1)
> for (i in 1:10) text(7,order[i],substitute(greeks[i]))# produces 10
> instances of greeks1
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> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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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