Query Capabilities of the Current Graphics Device

Query the capabilities of the current graphics device.

dev.capabilities(what = NULL)
a character vector partially matching the names of the components listed in section Value, or NULL which lists all available capabilities.

The capabilities have to be specified by the author of the graphics device, unless they can be deduced from missing hooks. Thus they will often by returned as NA, and may reflect the maximal capabilities of the underlying device where several output formats are supported by one device.

Most recent devices support semi-transparent colours provided the graphics format does (which PostScript does not). On the other hand, relatively few graphics formats support (fully or semi-) transparent backgrounds: generally the latter is found only in PDF and PNG plots.


  • A named list with some or all of the following components, any of which may take value NA:
  • semiTransparencylogical: Does the device support semi-transparent colours?
  • transparentBackgroundcharacter: Does the device support (semi)-transparent backgrounds? Possible values are "no", "fully" (only full transparency) and "semi" (semi-transparent background colours are supported).
  • rasterImagecharacter: To what extent does the device support raster images as used by rasterImage and grid.raster? Possible values "no", "yes" and "non-missing" (support only for arrays without any missing values).
  • capturelogical: Does the current device support raster capture as used by grid.cap?
  • locatorlogical: Does the current device support locator and identify?
  • eventscharacter: Which events can be generated on this device? Currently this will be a subset of c("MouseDown", "MouseMove", "MouseUp", "Keybd"), but other events may be supported in the future.

See Also

See getGraphicsEvent for details on interactive events.

  • dev.capabilities
library(grDevices) dev.capabilities()
Documentation reproduced from package grDevices, version 3.3, License: Part of R 3.3

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