[Rd] Problems with plot and Quartz device (PR#13744)

From: <tsr_at_stat.washington.edu>
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 2009 10:45:13 +0200 (CEST)

Full_Name: Thomas Richardson
Version: R 2.9.0 GUI 1.28 Tiger build 32-bit (5395) OS: 10.4.11
Submission from: (NULL) (

I have encountered a problem with points in scatterplots disappearing in a quartz window when it is re-sized (to make it larger).

I am constructing an 8x12 matrix of scatterplots each containing approx 600 points.
In order to get them in the window I remove the axes etc.,


par(mfrow=c(8,12), mar=c(0,0,0,0), oma=c(0,0,0,0))
for(i in 1:8){ # Row counter
for(j in 1:12){ # Col counter		


Here is the problem: how many data points actually appear in the quartz window on my screen is highly sensitive to the width and height specified. If I specify a different width and height for the quartz window e.g. quartz(width=8,height=8), OR if I resize the window with the cursor then points disappear in certain (x-axis) ranges across all the plots in some columns. These bands in which points disappear are the same for all plots in a given column, and can be very wide - making a lot of points disappear.

(The visual effect is to make it look as if there are clearly defined vertical white lines going across the scatterplots - though the black lines enclosing each plot are not broken).

The problem seems to disappear with other plotting symbols e.g. pch="+" (but then I end up with crowded plots). So I guess it might be related to the "special treatment" of "." described on help(points) ??

Value pch="." (equivalently pch = 46) is handled specially. It is a rectangle of
side 0.01 inch (scaled by cex).

I find this behaviour unnerving: the (resized) plots made it look as if there
was a lot of structure in the data, but on closer inspection it turned out to be
entirely a consequence of the quartz device and plot function!

I can't imagine that this behaviour is intended - even if it were intended to
suppress points (like some axis labels) - it seems strange that enlarging the
window makes points disappear. (I also tried setting dpi=72 in quartz(), but
this did not fix the problem).

Thanks in advance.


R version 2.9.0 (2009-04-17) 


attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base

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