[R-SIG-Mac] How to Set Default Device to Quartz

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sun Mar 1 13:52:20 CET 2009

On Sat, 28 Feb 2009, ivowel at gmail.com wrote:

> Dear R-experts: I would like to set the default drawing device to be
> quartz, not X11. I understand that "quartz()" accomplishes this, but it
> also draws an empty window. Assigning "quartz" to .Device does not do the
> trick, either.

Of course: see what its help says it does (and note what it says about 
where those symbols are, so you assigned to a different variable of 
that name).

>I read earlier postings in this group, but did not discover
> the ultimately recommended way to do this.

It's not Mac-specific, it is an option() on all platforms.  E.g. 
?dev.new would have got you there.  See ?options and look for 

> May I also ask why quartz is not the default on Mac to begin with? (would
> anyone really prefer the X11 device if quartz is available?)

Yes, some would.  E.g. quartz() will plot on the Mac screen, even 
when I've logged in from another machine -- only convenient if they 
are side-by-side (and something I have done whilst debugging the 
quartz() device).  There are also some odd font issues with quartz() 
that using X11() can circumvent.

Normally quartz() is the default if you use the R.app GUI, X11() 
otherwise *if* DISPLAY is set. And BTW, the choice of default is a lot 
more complicated than you make out: see src/library/grDevices/R/zzz.R 

I think this is a legacy of the time that a Mac terminal did not set 
DISPLAY, but now it does it is unclear whether the user wants to use 
it or not.

> /iaw
> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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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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