Re: R-beta: edit figs with xfig?

Peter Dalgaard BSA (
21 Nov 1997 01:03:03 +0100

To: Bill Simpson <>
Subject: Re: R-beta: edit figs with xfig?
From: Peter Dalgaard BSA <>
Date: 21 Nov 1997 01:03:03 +0100
In-Reply-To: Bill Simpson's message of Thu, 20 Nov 1997 15:46:40 -0600 (CST)

Bill Simpson <> writes:

> Question for R users under unix:
> Do you ever edit figs created by R using xfig or some other program?  I
> tried to edit a figure with xfig (a program which I find quite horrible by
> the way) and it said it couldn't read it in.  I guess xfig has no
> capability of reading postscript files?

Er - horrible compared to what? (Just curious. Personally, I've found
it a bit tedious, but it's hard to think up how to achieve similar
functionality with a better user interface. It's not a paint program,
but that is part of the design: that identifiable elements can be
selected and moved about.)

> Can anyone tell me how to do it, or perhaps suggest another freeware
> structured drawing program for use in touching up postscript figs output
> by R?

As others have pointed out, once the postscript is generated, it is
not easy to fix. 

For that other language which is not entirely unlike R, there has for
quite a while existed a graphics device which outputs in xfig's native
format, which you can then modify and convert to PostScript. Written
by me some 6 years ago and revised (and substantially improved) by
Gary Houston a year or two back. 

Once the structure of a generic graphics driver for R has
materialized, it should be fairly easy to cook up an R driver for the
xfig format (in particular since it won't necessarily have to deal
with the same idiosyncracies in the underlying graphics code). Perhaps
it's easy to do it already - I haven't been looking too closely at
the current graphics drivers.

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
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