2.3 Editing Code

Often we will be interacting with R by writing code and sending that code to the R Interpreter so that it can be run (locally or remotely). It is always good practice to store this code into a file so that we have a record of what we have done and are able to replicate the work at a later time. Such a file is called an R Script.

We can create a new R Script by clicking on the first icon on the RStudio toolbar and choosing the first item in the resulting menu as in Figure @ref(intro:fig:rstudio_startup_editor). A keyboard shortcut is also available to do this: Ctrl+Shift+N (hold the Ctrl and the Shift keys down and press the N key).

A sophisticated file editor is presented as the top left pane within RStudio. The tab will initially be named Untitled1 until we actually save the script to a file on the disk. When we do so we will be asked to provide a name for the file.

The editor is where we write our R code and compose the programs that instruct the computer to perform particular tasks. The editor provides numerous features that are expected in a modern program editor. These include syntax colouring, automatic indentation to improve layout, automatic command completion, interactive command documentation, and the ability to send specific commands to the R Console to have them run by the R Interpreter.

RStudio: Ready to program in R. {#intro:fig:rstudio_startup_editor} Ready to edit R scripts in RStudio using the Editor pane on the top left created when we choose to add a new R Script from the toolbar menu displayed by clicking the icon highlighted in red.

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