Teaching with RStudio (zoom and "figure margins too large")


I enjoy teaching with RStudio but have one recurring frustration about using it whilst connected to various classroom projectors and TVs.

When my screen is projected I often need to zoom in (with “cmd +” on Mac) so folks at the back of the room can see the various RStudio menus and of course my code/text.

Unfortunately, I will then often get the familiar “Error in plot.new() : figure margins too large” and subsequent multiple warning msgs about “invalid graphics state” etc. I know and appreciate the reasons for this.

However, I was wondering how others deal with a zoomed in display of the console/script and GUI menus whilst having plots smoothly appear and perhaps even having the plot window squished?

I can call x11() and have them appear in a separate window or go through a “cmd -” cycle (or window resize) before each plot. Having to do this is a bit of pain and I was wondering if others have come up with better approaches?

Thanks for your attention!


Could using notebooks be a nice alternative? This way figures would appear in the noteboook, instead of in the plot window.


Good idea, I will try this thanks!

During the very early stages of delivering R material I would still like to work for a little while in interactive mode (and not require the extra cognitive load of introducing notebooks until they are comfortable with the very basics).

Ideally, I would my screen to look somewhat like the students but perhaps with a detachable plots window that would not need to be squished and hence lead to the error and warning reports.
Thanks again!