[R] Console display "buffer size"

(Ted Harding) Ted.Harding at wlandres.net
Mon Apr 1 22:37:20 CEST 2013

Greetings All.
This is a somewhat generic query (I'm really asking on behalf
of a friend who uses R on Windows, whereas I'm on Linux, but
the same phenomenon appears on both).

Say one has a largish dataframe -- call it "G" -- which in the
case under discussion has 592 rows and 41 columns. The intention
is to display the data by simply entering its name (G) as command.

Say the display console has been set wide enough to display 15
columns (determined by lengths of column names). Then R will output
succesively to the console, in continuous flow:
  Chunk 1: rows 1:592 of columns 1:15
  Chunk 2: rows 1:592 of columns 16:30
  Chunk 3: rows 1:592 of columns 31:41
If the number of rows that can be displayed on the screen is, say, 60,
then only rows 533:592 of Chunk 3 will be visible in the first instance.

However, on my Linux system at any rate, I can use Shift+PgUp to
scroll back up through what has been output to the console. It seems
that my friend proceeds similarly.

But now, after a certain number of (Shift+PgUps), one runs out
of road before getting to Row 1 of Chunk 1 (in my friend's case,
only Rows 468-592 of Chunk 1 can be seen).

The explanation which occurs to me is that the console has a "buffer"
in which such an output is stored, and if the dataframe is too big
then lines 1:N (for some N) of the output are dropped from the start
of the buffer, and it is impossible to go further back than line (N+1)
of Chunk 1 where in this case N=467 (of course one may not even be
able to go further back than Chunk K, for some K > 1, for a bigger

The query I have is: In the light of the above, is there a way to
change the size of the "buffer" so that one can scroll all the way
back to the very first row of Chunk 1? (The size-change may perhaps
have to be determined empirically).

With thanks,

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <Ted.Harding at wlandres.net>
Date: 01-Apr-2013  Time: 21:37:17
This message was sent by XFMail

More information about the R-help mailing list