A brief tutorial regarding how to set up R and RStudio
In our previous article on R, we provided a brief introduction to programming, programming languages, and R. In this article, we wanted to dive into how to get started with R by covering the RStudio IDE and the different ways to run R code.
The first step in getting started with R is to download R to your computer. R can be downloaded from the R project website. To facilitate downloading, the R project provides multiple mirrors across the world. Picking the mirror closest to you will allow for a faster download. After selecting a mirror, simply click to download the R binary for your operating system and follow the set up instructions!
What’s the purpose of an IDE?
Now that we have downloaded R and before we discuss RStudio, it is important to talk about what an IDE is. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are tools that help facilitate writing code. Think of an IDE as like driving an automatic transmission car compared to driving manual. While you don’t need automatic transmission to drive a car, having automatic transmission makes driving much easier compared to driving manual. In the same way, IDE’s facilitate coding as compared to coding using a simple text editor.
IDE’s come with multiple features including syntax highlighting, debuggers, and autocomplete which can facilitate the ease of programming. Some popular IDE’s include Eclipse for Java, PyCharm for python, and, of course, RStudio for R. RStudio is free and open-source and as such is perfect for data science, scientific research, and technical communication.
Downloading R Studio
To download R Studio, go to the RStudio website. Click on products and then select RStudio. For the purposes of this tutorial, we are going to use the RStudio Desktop version. After selecting RStudio Desktop, click the download button, select your operating system, and follow the setup instructions.
Getting Oriented With RStudio
Now that we have downloaded both R and R Studio, we need to get acquainted with the different features that RStudio provides. When opening RStudio for the first time, you should end up with a screen that looks similar to the…