Re: [Rd] How to link to vignette from .Rd file

From: Agner Fog <>
Date: Wed 08 Nov 2006 - 08:15:20 GMT

Thanks for the tip. I had thought of using the demo facility for this but I didn't know how to check for the operating system. This is a clumsy solution, but better than nothing. I agree with Duncan that there is a problem with the help system. It should either have a way to embed formulas and graphics in .chm files, or a way to use .pdf files for help under all operating systems. The latter solution is probably easier to implement.

Unfortunately, I personally don't have the time to contribute to improving the help system of R. Maybe tasks like this could be offered as projects to university students. Many students are doing useless projects so why not use this resource for something useful.

I have proposed to use R instead of Matlab for teaching math and signal analysis at my university college, but I am not teaching math myself so it's not my decision. If more universities were using R instead of Matlab, Mathcad, SAS, etc. then they would also be motivated to contribute to the development.

Dominick Samperi wrote:

> Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>> On 11/7/2006 8:51 AM, Agner Fog wrote:
>>> I am building a package for various noncentral hypergeometric
>>> distributions.
>>> I want to include some heavy mathematical formulas. It appears that
>>> the build and INSTALL commands produce only .chm files and not .pdf
>>> files from my .Rd files under Windows. This means that it cannot
>>> show complicated mathematical formulas.
>>> The solution might be to include a .pdf file as a vignette. I tried
>>> that, but I can't find any way to link to the .pdf file or access it
>>> from any of the help facilities. The .pdf file is useless if the
>>> user can't find it.
>> Yes, that's a major problem in the current R help system. You can
>> give the user code that would work to show the vignette, but there's
>> no way to create a live link to it.
> The demo system can be used to compensate for limitations of the help
> system.
> You can display PDF files from any package subdirectory using a demo file
> like this (named demo/ReadPkgDoc.R, and documented in demo/00Index):
> # ReadPkgDoc.R -- Displays a PDF file as a demo
> #
> isWindows <- (['sysname'] == 'Windows')
> file <- system.file("doc", "PkgManual.pdf", package="PkgName")
> if(isWindows) { # Windows automatically finds executable based on file
> type.
> system(paste("CMD /C ", file, "\n"))
> } else { # Change this to use path to Adobe reader if desired.
> system(paste("xpdf ", file, "\n"))
> }
> To create the PDF file from the Rd file use R CMD Rd2dvi, and dvipdf.
> ds
> mailing list Received on Thu Nov 09 04:45:02 2006

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.1.8, at Wed 08 Nov 2006 - 20:30:35 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.