Devices {grDevices}R Documentation

List of Graphical Devices


The following graphics devices are currently available:


On Windows only, the graphics device for Windows (on screen, to printer and to Windows metafile).


Write PDF graphics commands to a file


Writes PostScript graphics commands to a file


Device for XFIG graphics file format


bitmap pseudo-device via Ghostscript (if available).


Writes TeX/PicTeX graphics commands to a file (of historical interest only)

The following devices will be functional if R was compiled to use them (they exist but will return with a warning on other systems):

cairo_pdf, cairo_ps:

PDF and PostScript devices based on cairo graphics.


SVG device based on cairo graphics


PNG bitmap device


JPEG bitmap device


BMP bitmap device


TIFF bitmap device

On Unix-alikes (incl. Mac) only:


The graphics device for the X11 windowing system


The graphics device for the macOS native Quartz 2d graphics system. (This is only functional on macOS where it can be used from the GUI and from the command line: but it will display on the local screen even for a remote session.)


If no device is open, calling any high-level graphics function will cause a device to be opened. Which device is determined by options("device") which is initially set as the most appropriate for each platform: a screen device for most interactive use and pdf (or the setting of R_DEFAULT_DEVICE) otherwise. The exception is interactive use under Unix if no screen device is known to be available, when pdf() is used.

It is possible for an R package (or an R front-end such as RStudio) to provide further graphics devices and several packages on CRAN do so. These include other devices outputting SVG and PGF/TiKZ (TeX-based graphics, see

See Also

The individual help files for further information on any of the devices listed here;

on Windows:


on a Unix-alike:

X11.options, quartz.options,

ps.options and pdf.options for how to customize devices.

dev.interactive, dev.cur, dev.print,, image, dev2bitmap.

On Unix-alikes only:
capabilities to see if X11, jpeg, png, tiff, quartz and the cairo-based devices are available.


## Not run: 
## open the default screen device on this platform if no device is
## open
if(dev.cur() == 1)

## End(Not run)

[Package grDevices version 3.6.0 Index]