The R Statistical Programing Environment
Using R under windows
There are a variety of different packages to do statistical analyses
on, namely SAS, S-Plus, SPSS, Minitab, Statistica, etc. R is one of the
best statistical programming packages today. One advantage that R has
on all of them is that it is open source and released under the GNU GPL
license, which means that it is free and will always be free. R is an
open source implementation of the S language that is used in the S-plus
statistical package. It was programmed for the Linux and Unix
platforms, which is what I use (Linux). However, since the GNU tools
have been ported to windows as well, then R is also available for
windows. I wrote these instuctions at the request of several friends
who wanted to know how to integrate Emacs and R together.
There are a variety of ways to interface with R. The quickest way is
through a terminal window on Linux. However, it's not very productive
and useful. The best ways to interface with R are as follows in
This is currently the best way
to edit R code and analyze data using R. It is
what I suggest to all my students right now. The others still
have their value, so I won't remove them. Rstudio is better
because of the Server edition, which allows the use of R through
the browser. It contains a code editor, debugging tools, and
visualizing tools. You can also organize your work into
projects, which helps when you are working on multiple projects.
There are two versions of Rstudio, Rstudio Desktop, useful for
running R on one computer, and RStudio Server, which allows
access to R through any browser. It is available for Linux,
Mac, and Windows.
- The ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) package for Emacs
Integrating Emacs with R is a very useful interface with R on a
Unix/Linux box. Both R and Emacs are originally written for Unix/Linux,
but is also possible on Windows as well.
- The Rcmdr package
R can also be controlled
by using Rcmdr, a GUI interface for many of the capabilities of
R. If you have no desire to use Emacs with R, then Rcmdr is a
viable alternative. Available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.
- Notepadd++ with NppToR
Notepadd++ is an all purpose replacement of Notepad with lots of
features, including syntax highlighting and folding. NppToR is an
add on package to Notepadd++ that adds syntax highlighting for the
R Language, as well as code passing between Notepadd++ and R.
Notepad++ is a windows only program.
Tinn-R is a program that is used for
editing R code under Windows. It could be described as an
integrated development environment for R under windows. Tinn is
an acronym standing for Tinn is not Notepad. It is intended as
an enhanced replacement for Notepad. Tinn-R is a modified
version of Tinn that is designed to make the eding and execution
of R code simple and easy. Tinn-R is not a solution for Mac,
Linux, or Unix, as it is a windows only program. This is it's
biggest strike against it.
This web page describes how to install R, Rcmdr, Emacs, Notepad++ and Tinn-R on a
Windows system, as well as directions on integrating Emacs and R using
The navigation menu on the left will take you to each installation
directions. Note that you don't have to install Emacs, Rcmdr,
Notepad++, or Tinn-R to use R, but the experience is so much better with
I have updated the installation of Emacs to use a CVS version of GNU
Emacs for windows. This new version will allow the latest features of
ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) to be used (most notably the toolbar). If
you still prefer the official release, then here are directions for on installing it.
Last modified: Tue Sep 8 17:47:57 HST 2020