Below you will find links and help for downloading and installing the necessary software. You will also find an introduction to navigating the most common features of the RStudio interface.

Downloading and Installing Software

Use the links below to download R and RStudio:

Also, if needed, refer to links and videos below for instructions to help with installations.

  • Download and Installation Help for R (Windows, Mac)

An Introduction to the RStudio Interface

Video Time Stamps

Basic layout and options (0:28)

  • Personalize interface
  • Create new script
  • The four main windows

Editor, or Scripting, window (2:38)

  • Open and save script
  • Execute code
  • Add comments to scripts

Environment, or Workspace, window (5:50)

  • Populating variables
  • The history tab

Viewer window (6:28)

  • Cycle through created plots
  • What are packages?
  • The help search box

Console, or Command Prompt (7:48)

  • Partners with Editor window
  • Arrow through previously executed commands
  • Clearing the Console

Total time (9:59)

You can personalize the look and feel of your RStudio interface by choosing from different editor themes. You can access these themes by clicking Tools -> Global Options -> Appearances. Click on the different options to instantly view the sample result before making a final selection. You can also change the font type and size if you so desire. You will see that Tomorrow Night Bright is used for many of the examples shown on this Canvas page.

Note: Be careful with the options menu. It is highly recommended that you do not change other settings until you become more familiar with the software.

There are four main windows in RStudio; however, there will only be three the first time you open the software. This is because you do not have any scripts open. Scripts are your personal files within which you write your code. To open a new script, click on the “Add New File” icon and choose R Script (or Ctrl+Shift+N as a shortcut).

To create a new R script use File, then New File, then R script. Alternatively you can use the keyboard shortcut keys control, shift, N

Creating a new script should produce the layout shown below:

The four main windows of the R Studio interface are the editor, environment, viewer and console. To easily navigate between these windows and for other useful keyboard shortcuts use alt, shift, K. The editor window is where you write your integrated lines of code as one script, which can be saved and shared just as you would with any other file format. Tabbed next to the history window is the environment window, where you have a list of the items you are currently working with. These items could be datasets, vectors, matrices, variables, functions, etc. The next commonly used window is the viewer, which also shares its location with a list of tabs for other options such as the help menu and packages menu. The viewer window is mostly used to display plots you create. And finally, there is the Console window. Here is where you can execute code as if using a command line environment. Keep in mind that you can arrow up and down to navigate through the history of your executed commands.

Ready take your skills to the next level?

Proceed to the advanced tutorials.