Help and documentation


Marie-Hélène Burle

One of the strengths of R is its great documentation. Here, we will learn how to make use of it.

General documentation

To get started with R, you can launch the general documentation with:


Help on functions

To get help on specific objects (e.g. the function sum), you can run:




The documentation pages always follow the same format:

  • Name of the object and the package it comes from
  • A short description of the object
  • The code to use it
  • An explanation of the arguments (in the case of functions)
  • Explanation with greater details
  • The value returned (in the case of functions)
  • Examples of code snippets that can be run