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ESS also provides support for editing R documentation ("Rd") files. R objects are documented in files written in Rd format, a simple markup language closely resembling (La)TeX, which can be processed into a variety of formats, including LaTeX, HTML, and plain text. Rd format is described in section "Rd format" of the "Writing R Extensions" manual in the R distribution.
Visiting an Rd file as characterized by its extension `Rd' will activate Rd Mode, which provides several facilities for making editing R documentation files more convenient, by helping with indentation, insertions, even doing some of the typing for you (with Abbrev Mode), and by showing Rd keywords, strings, etc. in different faces (with Font Lock Mode).
Note that R also accepts Rd files with extension `rd'; to activate ESS[Rd] support for this extension, you may need to add
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.rd\\'" . Rd-mode))
to one of your Emacs startup files.
In Rd mode, the following special Emacs commands can be used in addition to the standard Emacs commands.
reindent-then-newline-and-indent). An abbrev before point is expanded if
Rd-mode-insert-skeleton). Note that many users might prefer to use the R function
prompton an existing R object to generate a non-empty Rd "shell" documenting the object (which already has all information filled in which can be obtained from the object).
Rd-font). C-c C-f is only a prefix; see e.g. C-c C-f TAB for the available bindings. Note that currently, not all of the Rd text markup as described in section "Marking text" of "Writing R Extensions" can be accessed via C-c C-f.
In addition, when editing Rd files one can interact with a running R process in a similar way as when editing R language files. E.g., C-c C-v provides access to on-line help, and C-c C-n sends the current line to the R process for evaluation. This interaction is particularly useful when editing the examples in the Rd file. See C-h m for all available commands.
Rd mode also provides access to abbreviations for most of the Rd markup commands. Type M-x list-abbrevs with Abbrev mode turned on to list all available abbrevs. Note that all Rd abbrevs start with a grave accent.
Rd mode can be customized via the following variables.
To automatically turn on the abbrev and font-lock features of Rd mode, add the following lines to one of your Emacs startup files:
(add-hook 'Rd-mode-hook (lambda () (abbrev-mode 1) (font-lock-mode 1)))
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