4.5 Using RStudio Projects

You can use devtools without using RStudio and visa versa, but it’s not as nice.

4.5.1 Benefits of RStudio Projects

  • Each project is isolated and code is contained within the project.
  • Easy to start up a project in a fresh instance of RStudio.
  • Helps mitigate workspace overlap (e.g., function masking and overwriting accidentally same-named objects)
  • Keyboard shortcuts for common code development tasks (build, load, test, document, check)
    • alt-shift-k for shortcuts

4.5.2 Make an R Project for an existing package

If you already have an R package which isn’t within an R Project, you can:

  • In RStudio, do File > New Project > Existing Directory.
  • Call usethis::create_package() with the path to the pre-existing R source package.
  • Call usethis::use_rstudio(), with the active usethis project set to an existing R package. In practice, this probably means you just need to make sure working directory is inside the pre-existing package.

(using usethis::use_rstudio() from bash fixes the problem of the other not being created)

4.5.3 R Project tidbits

A directory for an R Project will have a .Rproj file, typically with the same name as the directory (and the package if the project is a package). It’s best case for all of these names to be the same.

This file is just a text file and you don’t need to modify it by hand. It’s possible to modify it with ‘Project Options…’ in RStudio (drop down on top right).

Launch an R Project by double clicking the .Rproj file or from within RStudio.