[R-SIG-Mac] quartz.save() and ESS (was: Linux user asks: What about that Editor you have ...)

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at me.com
Sat May 16 01:58:31 CEST 2009

On May 15, 2009, at 5:09 PM, Steve Revilak wrote:

> marc_schwartz> Can you describe the problems that you are having with
> marc_schwartz> Emacs/ESS?
> marc_schwartz> marc_schwartz> I have played around with the editor  
> in R.app on OSX,
> marc_schwartz> but I find the Emacs/ESS combination to be superior. In
> marc_schwartz> fact, I build Emacs 23 from CVS to have a 'real' Emacs
> marc_schwartz> on OSX, as opposed to the quirky behavior of Aquamacs.
> I'd like to ask a tangental question.
> I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.11 on a G5 PPC, and I also build Emacs from
> source.
>  GNU Emacs 22.3.1 (powerpc-apple-darwin8.11.0, Carbon Version 1.6.0)  
> of 2009-03-28 on spud.local
> I've recently started experimenting with ESS version 5.3.11, which I'm
> using in conjunction with R 2.9.0.  About half of my time is spent in
> R.app (console and/or built-in editor), and the other half is spent
> with ESS.
> One thing I miss with ESS is quartz.save().  From ESS, I can open a
> quartz() device and plot to it, but quartz.save() gives the error
> 'could not find function "quartz.save"'.  Here's an example:
>   # output starting from M-x R
>   R version 2.9.0 (2009-04-17)
>   Copyright (C) 2009 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
>   ISBN 3-900051-07-0
>   R is free software and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
>   You are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions.
>   Type 'license()' or 'licence()' for distribution details.
>     Natural language support but running in an English locale
>   R is a collaborative project with many contributors.
>   Type 'contributors()' for more information and
>   'citation()' on how to cite R or R packages in publications.
>   Type 'demo()' for some demos, 'help()' for on-line help, or
>   'help.start()' for an HTML browser interface to help.
>   Type 'q()' to quit R.
>   [Previously saved workspace restored]
>   > options(STERM='iESS', editor='emacsclient')
>   > quartz();
>   > plot(1:10, type="l")
>   > quartz.save("foo.png");
>   Error: could not find function "quartz.save"
> dev.copy() works, though.
>  > dev.copy(device=png, filename="foo.png")
>  quartz_off_screen
>                  3
>  > dev.off()
>  quartz
>       2
> Is there a way to have quartz.save() work from within ESS?

The function quart.save() is defined in a file called GUI-tools.R  
which is part of R.app and not part of R itself. Thus, it would not be  
available by default outside of the OSX GUI.

You can see the file here:


However, trying it here, if you have R.app installed, you can use:


to make the function available outside of the GUI.

Running R from a regular Terminal:

 > source("/Applications/R.app/Contents/Resources/GUI-tools.R")
[R.app GUI  () i386-apple-darwin9.7.0]

 > plot(1:10)
 > quartz.save("plot.png")

 > quartz.save("plot.pdf", type = "pdf")

I tried it from Emacs/ESS and as expected, it works there as well.


Marc Schwartz

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