Step Four: Get the tools

In step four we are going to get the tools we need to build a package containing only R source. For reference you can do some reading of the official documentation found here  .  However, I found that documentation a bit confusing, but that’s probably just me.

For building packages that only use R source we will need the following tools.

A.  a program that can create the help files for your package. While an add on package does not require help files, I’m going to show you how they get created and point you to the extensive documentation on these files. The recommended tool for this is MikTex. That tool is located  here at  Go ahead and download that tool now. For this how to guide I’m using version 2.9. That is located here.  At the time of this writing the 64 bit version of the tool is listed as experimental, so I’ll work with the 32 bit version.

B. A program for making HTML help files.  This tool, The Microsoft Help Workshop, is optional but  in this how-to guide we will also download and install it. That tool is available here.  Make sure that you download the Help Workshop. Go ahead and download that tool now. The exact URL is currently this

C. The last set of tools you need are the Rtools. They are located at this URL.  Take some time to read the documentation there. For this How-to Guide  I am using the version of the tools that matches with R 2.13.  Go ahead and get that tool at this time.

You can now proceed to step 5. Installing the tools

Additional resources. The description of the tools required and the various options can be pretty daunting for a raw beginner. Here is a list of links to all the various Guides that I consulted.





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  1. June 9, 2011 at 12:20 AM

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