User Guide

‘learnrbook’ 2.0.1

Pedro J. Aphalo


The R Package ‘learnrbook’

This package contains data sets used in the code examples in the books “Learn R: As a Language” (1ed) by Pedro J. Aphalo (2020) and “Learn R: As a Language” (2ed) by Pedro J. Aphalo (2024).

The book uses mostly data sets included in the R distribution itself and in packages available through CRAN, so only a few additional data sets are included as R data in this package. However, to demonstrate the reading of foreign data formats I use in the book several files. These files are part of this package and installed in the extdata folder.

For more information on the book, please, visit the website that I have created for it. In the website you will find the Preface and the Table of Contents with chapter summaries.

Installation of the package

Installation of the package itself is not different to that of any other package available through CRAN.


Loading the package


Installation of other packages used in the book

In the code examples in the book I use several packages available from CRAN. To facilitate their installation and use, vectors containing package names are provided.

To install all the packages used in the 2nd edition of the book you can use.


To install all the packages used in the 1st edition of the book you can use.


If you rather install only the packages used in a given chapter, for example, chapter 9 of the 2ed, about the Grammar of Graphics it is possible to install only these.


To install only the packages that are missing.

intalled_pkgs <- installed.packages()[ , 1]
missing_pkgs <- setdiff(learnrbook::pkgs_all_2ed, intalled_pkgs)
if (length(missing_pkgs) > 0) {

Use of R data objects

Please, see the individual help pages for additional details on the data sets.

help(package = "learnrbook")
data(package = "learnrbook")

Display the top six rows.

##            solar_time WindDir_D1_WVT WindSpd_S_WVT
## 1 2016-07-29 00:00:27         64.680         0.767
## 2 2016-07-29 00:01:27         22.660         0.733
## 3 2016-07-29 00:02:27          7.946         1.142
## 4 2016-07-29 00:03:27         19.320         1.333
## 5 2016-07-29 00:04:27        348.700         1.033
## 6 2016-07-29 00:05:27        323.000         0.967

Use of examples files

Example files are installed in folder extdata under the root folder of the installed package. The location and path to where a package is installed is dependent on the operating system and account settings, and on the settings in the .Rprofile file. However, R provides a simple way of finding the path to this folder.

system.file("extdata", package = "learnrbook")

A list of all the data files used in at least one of the editions can be obtained with.

path2examples <- system.file("extdata", package = "learnrbook")
##  [1] "BIRCH1.SYS"                   "Book1.ods"                   
##  [3] "Book1.xlsx"                   "GPSDATA-large.gpx"           
##  [5] "GPSDATA.gpx"                  "aligned-ASCII-UK.csv"        
##  [7] "aligned-ASCII.fwf"            "aligned-ASCII.txt"           
##  [9] "areatable.dat"                "cloudindex.idx"              
## [11] "dwtable.dat"                  "logger_1.txt"                
## [13] ""                "miss-aligned-ASCII-shift.txt"
## [15] "miss-aligned-ASCII.txt"       "my-data.sav"                 
## [17] "my-data.xlsx"                 "my-file.csv"                 
## [19] "my-file1.csv"                 "my-file2.csv"                
## [21] "my-file2.txt"                 "my-file3.txt"                
## [23] "my-file4.txt"                 "my-file5.tsv"                
## [25] "my-file5.txt"                 "my-file6.csv"                
## [27] "my-file7.txt"                 "my-script.R"                 
## [29] "not-aligned-ASCII-UK.csv"     "not-aligned-ASCII.txt"       
## [31] ""                   ""        
## [33] "rcatsidx.idx"                 "rindex.idx"                  
## [35] "thiamin.sav"                  "using-r-main-crc.idx"

The formats of these files are:

File name “tag” Format other
.SYS Systat proprietary, format depends on operating system
.sav SPSS proprietary
.txt text plain text
.fwd text fixed-width data fields
.csv text comma separated fields
.tsv text tab(ulator) separated values
.gpx text GPS position data, XML based
.nc NetCDF binary, with metadata
.xlsx Excel “workbooks”, XML based and compressed
.ods ODS non-proprietary, XML based
.R text R script file
.idx text \(\LaTeX\) index

Most data files are used in the last chapter Data Input and Output.

The example R script is used in Chapter The R language: “Paragraphs” and “essays”.

The sources of the data in these files, and a short descriptions of the data follows for those files that contain real data.

File when saved Data Source
BIRCH1.SYS 1992 Birch seedlings Aphalo and Rikala (2002)
logger_1.txt 2016 from Yocto Puce datalogger Original, P. J. Aphalo 2017 meteorological 2014 meteorological Data of Anders Lindfors, FMI 20XX meteorological NASA
thiamin.sav ???? Vitamin B1
rindex.idx 2020 word list with markup alphabetical R index
rcatsidx.idx 2020 word list with markup R index by categories
cloudindex.idx 2020 word list with minimal markup word cloud on the cover

R code for code chunks in the book

The code examples from the book, extracted with knitr::purl() are included in this package in files and The code from chunks in the book are in one .R file per chapter. The code below extracts and saves these files in a new directory called purl-output under the directory passed as argument to exdir. Here we use ~ to select the home directory of the current user:

zip.file <- system.file("example-chunks/", package = "learnrbook")
unzip(zip.file, exdir = "~")

Alternatively the whole .zip file can be copied:

file.copy(from = zip.file, to = "~")