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Statistical computing with R: selecting the right tool for the job—R Commander or something else?

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Abstract R Commander (Rcmdr) is one of the most popular graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for R. Why is R Commander so popular? What does it do? When should R Commander be used? When should it not be used? What are the alternatives to R Commander? What can be said about using R Commander, or an alternative, to teach introductory statistics courses? The answers to these questions form the sections of the paper. Included is a Box describing many of the alternative R GUIs (RExcel, Deducer, Rattle, and RKWard) and interactive development environments (IDEs—RStudio, REvolution, and RKWard). Advice is given to help the user ‘select the right tool for the job’. WIREs Comput Stat 2012, 4:518–526. doi: 10.1002/wics.1228 This article is categorized under: Software for Computational Statistics > Software/Statistical Software

The basic R Commander graphical user interface (GUI) Window.

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RStudio screenshot illustrating functionality. Upper left is a script window, with a tab to show the attached dataset. Upper right is the list of variables in the workspace, with a tab to show the history. Lower right is the latest plot, with tabs to show the files, manage packages, and help menus. Lower left is the conventional R Console.

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RExcel screenshot highlighting the Rcmdr menu availability (top) as well as the right‐click options in Excel to interface with R.

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Linear model menu with corresponding output shown. The ease of entry of the numerous model possibilities is featured.

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Software for Computational Statistics > Software/Statistical Software

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