# Produce Authentic Math Formulas in R Graphics

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I remember a few weeks ago, there was a challenge in the R-help list to make the prime symbol in R graphics. In LaTeX, we simply write `$X'$`

or `$X^\prime$`

. R has a rough support for math expressions (see `demo(plotmath)`

) and they are certainly unsatisfactory for LaTeX users. In fact we can write native LaTeX code in R plots via the tikzDevice package! Why bother to use all kinds of tricks to cheat R?

Here is an example per request of a reader of my blog:

library(tikzDevice) options(tikzMetricPackages = c("\\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}", "\\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}", "\\usetikzlibrary{calc}", "\\usepackage{amssymb}")) ## I need the amssymb package because I use \mathcal and \mathbb tikz("formula.tex", width = 4, height = 4, standAlone = TRUE, packages = c("\\usepackage{tikz}", "\\usepackage[active,tightpage,psfixbb]{preview}", "\\PreviewEnvironment{pgfpicture}", "\\setlength\\PreviewBorder{0pt}", "\\usepackage{amssymb}")) par(mar = c(4, 4, 0.1, 0.1), mgp = c(2, 0.9, 0)) plot(1, type = "n", xlab = "$x_1$", ylab = "$x_2$") text(1, c(0.8, 1, 1.2), c("$\\underbrace{1,2,\\cdots,10}_{10}$", "$\\mathbb{ABCDEFG}$", "$\\mathcal{HIJKLMN}$"), cex = 2.5) dev.off() tools::texi2dvi("formula.tex", pdf = TRUE) system(paste(getOption("pdfviewer"), "formula.pdf"))

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