[R] character vectors not wrapping

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sun Jan 30 10:03:21 CET 2000

On Sat, 29 Jan 2000, Griffith Feeney wrote:

> A character vector with a single component consisting of a long string gets
> truncated with $ on the right side of the R console window.

The $ indicates that there is more text to be scrolled to. This is a
fairly common convention in text-based systems (e.g. the pine mailer).

> The preceding sentence, for example, assigned to 'test' by cut and paste,
> renders like this (window maximized, 17" monitor, 800x600, if this matters):
> [1] "A character vector with a single component consisting of a long string
> gets truncated with $
> The point of truncation changes when the window is resized with the mouse.
> options(width=[value]) seems to work for other objects (e.g., one and two
> dimenional arrays).
> I'm using R (Rgui.exe) 0.90.1 on Windows 95 original relase (4.00.950).
> I've been through the documentation, can't find anything on this. It is a
> nuisance because I often can't read R error messages. Is there a setting I
> need to change, aside from options(width=...)? Thanks.

You can scroll the window (try Help | Console for the instructions) by CRTL
+ left/right arrow.  The next version will have a horizontal scrollbar,
which will make this both easier to use and more obvious.  I would think of
putting something in the rw-FAQ if I did not think it would be obvious in

Actually, there is a truncation point in the code, but it is at several
thousand characters.

(We always intended to have horizontal scrollbars, but Guido failed to get
them to work. I managed to do so recently, after finding design
errors in the toolkit we use and re-writing the scrollbar internals.)

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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