Re: [R] R plots pdf() does not allow spotcolors?

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2011 14:34:48 +0100

On Wed, 13 Apr 2011, Ben Bolker wrote:

> Matthieu Stigler <matthieu.stigler <at>> writes:
>> Hi
>> We are about to publish a book, which contains figures made with R
>> plots. An important detail that we did not take into account is that the
>> book will not be printed in 4 colors (cmyk mode), but only 2 (black
>> +"spotcolor"). The spotcolor we use is part of the big Pantone family.
>> The problem is that both pdf() and postscript() offer either rgb or
>> cmyk, but no spotcolors such as pantone.

Well, how could it? R's colour model is sRGB, and it has not other way to refer to colours. The colour model is not at the level of a package ....

>> I'm afraid this constraint can't be solved at all, and we can't use
>> R for creating these plots? I did not find any package that would
>> extend the colormodel to include spot colors... Did anyone had a
>> similar experience?
> Wasn't aware of spotcolors, but I bet you could hack the PDF
> reasonably easily (if you have many figures you might have to
> use awk/sed/perl ?) ... if you don't use R, what is your alternative
> for creating the figures?

No, PDF is not a text format and not easy to hack. It has a binary index of byte positions so you edit it at your peril.

However, this is exactly what professionals have PDF editing tools for. I believe I used Acrobat (not Reader) to do it when I needed to for my books.

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

______________________________________________ mailing list
PLEASE do read the posting guide
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
Received on Wed 13 Apr 2011 - 13:37:33 GMT

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.2.0, at Wed 13 Apr 2011 - 14:10:29 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.

list of date sections of archive