Edit One or More Files

Edit one or more files in a text editor.

file.edit(…, title = file, editor = getOption("editor"),
          fileEncoding = "")

one or more character vectors containing the names of the files to be displayed. These will be tilde-expanded: see path.expand.


the title to use in the editor; defaults to the filename.


the text editor to be used. See ‘Details’.


the encoding to assume for the file: the default is to assume the native encoding. See the ‘Encoding’ section of the help for file.


The behaviour of this function is very system dependent. Currently files can be opened only one at a time on Unix; on Windows, the internal editor allows multiple files to be opened, but has a limit of 50 simultaneous edit windows.

The title argument is used for the window caption in Windows, and is currently ignored on other platforms.

Any error in re-encoding the files to the native encoding will cause the function to fail.

The default for editor is system-dependent. On Windows it defaults to "internal", the script editor, and in the macOS GUI the document editor is used whatever the value of editor. On Unix the default is set from the environment variables EDITOR or VISUAL if either is set, otherwise vi is used.

UTF-8-encoded paths not valid in the current locale can be used.

See Also

files,, edit, fix,

  • file.edit
library(utils) # NOT RUN { # open two R scripts for editing file.edit("script1.R", "script2.R") # }
Documentation reproduced from package utils, version 3.5.1, License: Part of R 3.5.1

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