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 code window with script and R Markdown tabs, 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 tab.
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 tab (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 tab). Commands that don't require direct user interaction (such as interactive
identification of points on a graph) are also used to create an R Markdown document in
the tab of the same name. When the R Markdown tab is in front, pressing the "Generate HTML report" button
compiles the document to create an html page with input and output, which opens in a web browser. To alter these and
other defaults, see the information below on configuration. Note, for example, that the
use.knitr option below).
Control key, though the
latter works as well.
Right-clicking the mouse (clicking button 3 on a three-button mouse, or Control-left-clicking) in the tabs or windows brings up
a "context" menu with the Edit-menu items, plus (in the Script, R Markdown, and knitr tabs) a Submit item.
You can open a larger editor window with the document in the Markdown or knitr
tab by making the corresponding selection from the Edit menu, the right-click
context menu when the cursor is in the tab, or by pressing Control-E when the
cursor is in the tab.
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.
Most R Commander dialogs remember their state when this is appropriate, and can be restored to pristine state by pressing the Reset button.
Some R Commander dialogs have an Apply button that will execute the command generated by the dialog and then re-open the dialog in its previous state.
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).
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
and the manual supplied in the
doc directory of 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],[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
On startup, the R Commander sets
options(na.action=na.exclude); this is done so that
observation statistics such as residuals can be properly added to the active data set
when there are missing values. The
option is reset to its pre-existing value when the Commander exits. Some functions may not
work properly when the default
na.action is set to
This version should be compatiable with the
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 tab, 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")))