Start the R Commander GUI (graphical user interface)
The default R Commander interface consists of (from top to bottom) a menu bar, a toolbar,
a script window, an output window, and a messages window.
Commands to read, write, transform, and analyze data are entered using the menus in the
menu bar at the top of the Commander window. Most menu items lead to dialog boxes
requesting further specification. I suggest that you explore the menus to see
what is available.
Below the menu bar is a toolbar with (from left to right) an information field
displaying the name of the active data set; buttons for editing and displaying the active
data set; and an information field showing the active statistical model. There is also
a Submit button for re-executing commands in the script window.
The information fields for the active data set and active model are actually
buttons that can be used to select the active data set and model from among, respectively,
data frames or suitable model objects in memory.
Almost all commands require an active data set. When the Commander starts, there is no active
data set, as indicated in the data set information field. A data set becomes the active data set
when it is read into memory from an R package or imported from a text file, SPSS data set,
Minitab data set, STATA data set, or an Excel, Access, or dBase data set.
In addition, the active data set can be selected from among R data frames
resident in memory. You can therefore switch among data sets during a session.
By default, commands are logged to the script window (the
initially empty text window immediately below the toolbar), and
commands and output appear in the output window (the initially empty text window below the
script window). To alter these and
other defaults, see the information below on configuration.
Rcmdr dialogs (those in the Statistics -> Fit models menu)
produce linear, generalized
linear, or other models. When a model is fit, it becomes the active model, as indicated in the information
field in the R Commander toolbar.
Items in the Models menu apply to the active model. Initially, there is no active model.
If there are several models in memory, you can select the active model from among them.
If command logging in turned on, R commands that are generated from the menus and dialog boxes are
entered into the script window in the Commander. You can edit these commands in the normal
manner and can also type new commands into the script window. Individual commands
can be continued over more than one line, the several lines of a multi-line command
must be submitted simultaneously. (It is not necessary, as in earlier versions of the
R Commander, to begin continuation lines with white space.) The contents of the script
window can be saved during or at the end of the session, and a saved script can be loaded into the
script window. The contents of the output window can also be edited or saved to a text file. Finally,
editing operations also work in the messages window.
To re-execute a command or set of commands, select the lines to be executed using
the mouse and press the Submit button at the right of the toolbar
(or Control-R, for "run", or Control-Tab). If no text is selected,
the Submit button (or Control-R or Control-Tab)
submits the line containing the text-insertion cursor. Note that an error will be generated if the submitted
command or commands are incomplete.
Pressing Control-F brings up a find-text dialog box (which can also be accessed via
Edit -> Find) to search for text in the script, output, or messages window. Edit functions such as
search are performed in the script window unless you first click in the output or messages window to make it the active
Pressing Control-S will save the script or output window.
Pressing Control-A selects all of the text in the script, output, or messages window.
In addition, the following Control-key combinations work in the script, output, and messages windows: Control-X, cut;
Control-C, copy; Control-V, insert; Control-Z or Alt-Backspace, undo; and Control-W, redo.
Right-clicking the mouse (clicking button 3 on a three-button mouse, or Control-left-clicking) in the script, output, or message window brings up
a "context" menu with the Edit-menu items, plus (in the script window) a Submit item.
execute commands from the Commander window, you must ensure that the sequence of commands
is logical. For example, it makes no sense to fit a statistical model to a data set that has
not been read into memory.
Pressing a letter key (e.g., "a") in a list box will scroll the list box to bring the next entry
starting with that letter to the top of the box.
You can cancel an R Commander dialog box by pressing the Esc key.
Exit from the Commander via the File -> Exit menu or by closing the Commander window.
Customization and Configuration
The preferred way of customizing the R Commander is to write a plug-in package:
Alternatively, configuration files reside in the
etc subdirectory of the package,
or in the locations given by the
etcMenus options (see below).
Rcmdr menus can be customized by editing the file
You can add R code to the package, e.g., for creating additional dialogs, by placing files with
.R in the
etc directory, also editing
Rcmdr-menus.txt to provide
additional menus, sub-menus, or menu-items. Alternatively, you can edit
the source package and recompile it.
To reiterate, however, the preferred procedure is to write an R Commander plug-in package.
A number of functions are provided to assist in writing dialogs, and
Rcmdr state information
is stored in a separate environment. See
and the manual supplied in the
doc directory of the
Rcmdr package for more information.
In addition, several features are controlled by run-time options, set via the
command. These options should be set before the package is loaded. If the options are unset, which is
the usual situation, defaults are used. Specify options as a list of name=value pairs. You can
set none, one, several, or all options. The available options are as follows:
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Some options can also be set via the File -> Options menu, which will restart the Commander after options are set.
If you want always to launch the R Commander when R starts up, you can include the following code in one of R's start-up
files (e.g., in the
Rprofile.site file in R's
old <- getOption("defaultPackages")
options(defaultPackages = c(old, "Rcmdr"))
R Commander options can also be permanently set in the same manner.
For more information about R initialization, see
This version may be compatible with SciViews:
This version should be compatiable with the
Rcmdr package can be run under the Rgui in the SDI (single-document
interface) mode, or under
rterm.exe. You might experience problems running the
ESS with NTEmacs or XEmacs; under other R consoles; or under the Rgui in the MDI (multiple-document interface) mode.
The R Commander Script window does not provide a true console to R, and may have certain limitations. I don't recommend using the R Commander for serious programming or for data analysis that relies primarily on scripts --- use a programming editor instead. If you encounter any problems with the Script window, however, I'd appreciate it if you brought them to my attention.
Occasionally, under Windows, after typing some text into a dialog box (e.g., a subsetting expression in the Subset Data Set dialog), buttons in the dialog (e.g., the OK button) will have no effect when they are pressed. Clicking anywhere inside or outside of the dialog box should restore the function of the buttons. As far as I have been able to ascertain, this is a problem with Tcl/Tk for Windows. I have not seen this behavior in some time and the problem may have been solved.
Fox, J. (2005) The R Commander: A Basic Statistics Graphical User Interface to R. Journal of Statistical Software, 14(9): 1--42. Fox, J. (2007) Extending the R Commander by "plug in" packages. R News, 7(3): 46--52.
options(Rcmdr=list(log.font.size=12, default.contrasts=c("contr.Sum", "contr.poly")))