[R] Syntax coloring in R console

Steve_Friedman at nps.gov Steve_Friedman at nps.gov
Fri Apr 1 14:59:23 CEST 2011

RStudio is a new interface. I just started using it and find it very good.
You might want to check it out.  It does have Ubuntu capabilities, but you
have be sure that your graphic drivers are the same as is specified in the
RStudio system.

Hope this helps

Steve Friedman Ph. D.
Ecologist  / Spatial Statistical Analyst
Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Park
950 N Krome Ave (3rd Floor)
Homestead, Florida 33034

Steve_Friedman at nps.gov
Office (305) 224 - 4282
Fax     (305) 224 - 4147

             January Weiner                                                
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                                       [R] Syntax coloring in R console    
             04/01/2011 06:32                                              

Dear all,

I am a happy user of R console, but I would like to see syntax
coloring. I use R 2.12 in Ubuntu Linux.

I have found the packages "xterm256" and "highlight", but I was not
able to figure out how to use it to highlight the syntax in console

Also, I tried several GUI interfaces, but I was not able to find
something that suits me better than the default R console. R cmdr is
definitely not for me, as I don't want to fundamentally change the way
I am managing my data in R. Rkwrd seems to be nice (from screenshots),
but its installation requires all the base KDE libraries, which I
don't want to install.

I tried JGR, the GUI for R, but I have found the following problems
with this package:

- I was not able to change the background color from a repulsive grey,
- apparently, GNU readline is not implemented in that package, that
is, there is no functionality similar to ctrl-r (which searches
through the history for matching commands), something I use
frequently, and
- tab expansion is of limited use (e.g. doesn't browse files in the
current directory when expanding quoted arguments e.g. in

All in all, I'd be happy to continue using the plain R console, but
syntax highlighting would be nice. Any advice would be extremely

Kind regards,


> sessionInfo()
R version 2.12.2 (2011-02-25)
Platform: i486-pc-linux-gnu (32-bit)

 [1] LC_CTYPE=en_US.utf8       LC_NUMERIC=C
LC_TIME=en_US.utf8        LC_COLLATE=en_US.utf8     LC_MONETARY=C
 [6] LC_MESSAGES=en_US.utf8    LC_PAPER=en_US.utf8       LC_NAME=C
            LC_ADDRESS=C              LC_TELEPHONE=C

attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base


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