[R] Listing of available functions

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Tue Jan 4 14:37:20 CET 2011

On 04/01/2011 7:13 AM, Sébastien Bihorel wrote:
> Dear R-users,
> Is there a easy way to access to a complete listing of available functions
> from a R session? The help.start() and ? functions are great, but I feel
> like they require the user to know the answer in advance (especially with
> respect to function names)... I could not find a easy way to simply browse
> through a list of functions and randomly pick one function to see what is
> does.
> Is there such a possibility in R?
> Thanks
> PS: I apologize if this question appears trivial.

This requires a two level search, but is probably more useful than just 
a list of function names:

Run help.start() to get into the main help page.

Click on "Packages".  Now you'll see a list of all installed packages 
and their titles.

Choose an interesting package, and click on its name.  Now you'll see a 
list of most help aliases (generally all functions, plus some other 
things) and the title of the associated help page.

You don't see all help aliases:  S4 method documentation tends to have a 
lot of aliases, and some of those are suppressed.  But you should see 
all help pages at least once.

Duncan Murdoch

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