seecol provides an interface to plotting (or "seeing") the colors of a palette or comparing multiple color palettes.

  pal = "unikn_all",
  n = "all",
  alpha = NA,
  hex = NULL,
  rgb = NULL,
  col_bg = NULL,
  col_brd = NULL,
  lwd_brd = NULL,
  grid = TRUE,
  title = NA,
  mar_note = NA,
  pal_names = NA,



A single color palette (as a vector of colors), multiple color palettes (as a list), or a recognized keyword (as a character string). Default: pal = "unikn_all".

Recognized keywords are:

  1. "unikn_all": All color palettes defined in unikn

  2. "unikn_basic": All basic palettes.

  3. "pair_all": All palettes with pairwise colors.

  4. "pref_all": All preferred colors and their gradients.

  5. "grad_all":

seecol does also recognize keywords (e.g., "all_unikn") or keywords without "unikn" (e.g., "basic").


Number of colors to show or use. If n is lower or higher than the length of the current color palette pal, the color palette is reduced or extrapolated (using grDevices::colorRampPalette). Default: n = "all" (i.e., show all colors in palette).


A factor modifying the opacity alpha (as in adjustcolor) to a value in [0, 1]. Default: alpha = NA (i.e., no modification of opacity).


Should HEX color values be shown? Default: hex = NULL (i.e., show HEX color values when there is sufficient space to print them).


Should RGB color values be shown? Default: rgb = NULL (i.e., show RGB color values when there is sufficient space to print them).


Color of plot background. Default: col_bg = NULL.


Color of shape borders (if shown). Default: col_brd = NULL.


Line width of shape borders (if shown). Default: lwd_brd = NULL.


Show grid in the color plot? Default: grid = TRUE.


Plot title (as a character string). Default: title = NA creates a default title.


Optional margin note (on bottom right). Default: mar_note = NA (i.e., no margin note).


Names of color palettes or colors (as a character vector). Default: pal_names = NA (for default names).


Other graphical parameters (passed to plot).


seecol has two main modes, based on the contents of its pal argument:

  1. if pal = "unikn_all" or a list of multiple color palettes:

    Plot visual vectors of all current color palettes for comparing them.

  2. if pal is set to a specific color palette (or a vector of multiple colors or color palettes):

    Plot the current color palette and optional details on its colors.

The title and pal_names arguments add control over plotted text labels. However, the length of a character vector provided to pal_names must correspond to the number of (custom) color palettes or colors.

See also

usecol for using a color palette; defpal to define new color palettes; grepal for finding named colors; shades_of to define shades of a given color; pal_unikn for the default color palette.

Other color functions: grepal(), newpal(), shades_of(), usecol()


# See multiple color palettes: seecol() # default: seecol(pal = "all")
# See details of one color palette: seecol(pal_unikn) # see a specific color palette
# Combining colors or color palettes: seecol(c(rev(pal_seeblau), pal_seegruen)) # combine color palettes
seecol(c(rev(pal_seeblau), "white", pal_pinky)) # combine color palettes and color names
seecol(c("black", "firebrick", "gold")) # combine color names
# Using n to reduce or extend color palettes: seecol(n = 3) # viewing reduced ranges of all palettes
seecol(n = 12) # viewing extended ranges of all palettes
seecol(pal_unikn, n = 5, title = "Reduced version of pal_unikn (n = 5)") # reducing pal_unikn
seecol(pal_seeblau, n = 8, title = "Extended version of pal_seeblau (n = 8)") # extending pal_seeblau
# Combining and extending color palettes: seecol(c(rev(pal_seeblau), "white", pal_bordeaux), n = 17, title = "Diverging custom color palette (with 17 colors)")
# Defining custom color palettes: pal_mpg <- c("#007367", "white", "#D0D3D4") # mixing hex values and color names names(pal_mpg) <- c("mpg green", "mpg white", "mpg grey") # color names pal_bdg <- usecol(c(Bordeaux, "gold"), n = 10) # using usecol # Viewing extended color palette: seecol(pal_mpg, n = 9, title = "Custom color palette of the Max Planck Society")
# Comparing (and labeling) custom color palettes: seecol(list(pal_mpg, pal_bdg, pal_unikn), n = 7, pal_names = c("Max Planck", "Bordeaux-Gold", "Uni Konstanz"), title = "Comparing and labeling custom color palettes")
## Viewing color palettes from other packages: # library(RColorBrewer) # seecol(brewer.pal(name = "RdBu", n = 11)) # viewing "RdBu" palette from RColorBrewer ## Extending color palettes: # seecol(brewer.pal(name = "RdBu", n = 11), n = 15) # extending palette to 15 colors