Interact with Documents open in RStudio

Use these functions to interact with documents open in RStudio.

Creates a new document in RStudio

insertText(location, text, id = NULL)

modifyRange(location, text, id = NULL)

setDocumentContents(text, id = NULL)

setCursorPosition(position, id = NULL)

setSelectionRanges(ranges, id = NULL)

documentSave(id = NULL)


documentNew(text, type = c("r", "rmarkdown", "sql"), position = document_position(0, 0), execute = FALSE)


An object specifying the positions, or ranges, wherein text should be inserted. See Details for more information.


A character vector, indicating what text should be inserted at each aforementioned range. This should either be length one (in which case, this text is applied to each range specified); otherwise, it should be the same length as the ranges list.


The document id. When NULL or blank, the mutation will apply to the currently open, or last focused, RStudio document. Use the id returned from getActiveDocumentContext() to ensure that the operation is applied on the intended document.


The cursor position, typically created through document_position().


A list of one or more ranges, typically created through document_range().


The type of document to be created.


Should the code be executed after the document is created?


location should be a (list of) document_position or document_range object(s), or numeric vectors coercable to such objects.

To operate on the current selection in a document, call insertText() with only a text argument, e.g.

    insertText("# Hello\n")
    insertText(text = "# Hello\n")

Otherwise, specify a (list of) positions or ranges, as in:

    # insert text at the start of the document
    insertText(c(1, 1), "# Hello\n")

# insert text at the end of the document insertText(Inf, "# Hello\n")

# comment out the first 5 rows pos <- Map(c, 1:5, 1) insertText(pos, "# ")

# uncomment the first 5 rows, undoing the previous action rng <- Map(c, Map(c, 1:5, 1), Map(c, 1:5, 3)) modifyRange(rng, "")

modifyRange is a synonym for insertText, but makes its intent clearer when working with ranges, as performing text insertion with a range will replace the text previously existing in that range with new text. For clarity, prefer using insertText when working with document_positions, and modifyRange when working with document_ranges.


The insertText, modifyRange and setDocumentContents functions were added with version 0.99.796 of RStudio.

The setCursorPosition and setSelectionRanges functions were added with version 0.99.1111 of RStudio.

The documentSave and documentSaveAll functions were added with version 1.1.287 of RStudio.

The documentNew function was introduced in RStudio 1.2.640

  • rstudio-documents
  • insertText
  • modifyRange
  • setDocumentContents
  • setCursorPosition
  • setSelectionRanges
  • documentSave
  • documentSaveAll
  • documentNew
Documentation reproduced from package rstudioapi, version 0.8, License: MIT + file LICENSE

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