The Workspace

The workspace is your current R working environment and includes any user-defined objects (vectors, matrices, data frames, lists, functions). At the end of an R session, the user can save an image of the current workspace that is automatically reloaded the next time R is started. Commands are entered interactively at the R user prompt. Up and down arrow keys scroll through your command history.

You will probably want to keep different projects in different physical directories. Here are some standard commands for managing your workspace.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WINDOWS USERS:
   R gets confused if you use a path in your code like
       c:\mydocuments\myfile.txt
   This is because R sees "\" as an escape character. Instead, use
       c:\\my documents\\myfile.txt
       c:/mydocuments/myfile.txt
   Either will work. I use the second convention throughout this website.

getwd() # print the current working directory - cwd
ls()    # list the objects in the current workspace

setwd(mydirectory)      # change to mydirectory
setwd("c:/docs/mydir")  # note / instead of \ in windows
setwd("/usr/rob/mydir") # on linux

# view and set options for the session
help(options) # learn about available options
options() # view current option settings
options(digits=3) # number of digits to print on output

# work with your previous commands
history() # display last 25 commands
history(max.show=Inf) # display all previous commands

# save your command history
savehistory(file="myfile") # default is ".Rhistory"

# recall your command history
loadhistory(file="myfile") # default is ".Rhistory"

# save the workspace to the file .RData in the cwd
save.image()

# save specific objects to a file
# if you don't specify the path, the cwd is assumed
save(object list,file="myfile.RData")

# load a workspace into the current session
# if you don't specify the path, the cwd is assumed
load("myfile.RData")

q() # quit R. You will be prompted to save the workspace.