QuickLookR – A macOS QuickLook plugin for R Data files

I had tried to convert my data-saving workflows to [`feather`](https://github.com/wesm/feather/tree/master/R) but there have been [issues](https://github.com/wesm/feather/issues/155) with it supporting large files (that seem to be near resolution), so I’ve been continuing to use R Data files for local saving of processed/cleaned data.

I make _many_ of these files and sometimes I do it as a one-off effort, thinking that I’ll come back to it quickly. Inevitably, I don’t do that and also end up naming those one-offs badly. I made a small [R helper package](https://github.com/hrbrmstr/rdatainfo) to make it easier to wrap up checking out these files at the command-line (via a `bash` function) but it hit me that it’d be even easier if there was a way to use the macOS Quick Look feature (hitting `` on a file icon) to see the previews.

Thus, [`QuickLookR`](https://github.com/hrbrmstr/QuickLookR) was born.

You need to [download the ZIP file](https://github.com/hrbrmstr/QuickLookR/releases/tag/v0.1.0), unzip it and save the `QuickLookR.qlgenerator` component into `~/Library/QuickLook`. Then `devtools::install_github(‘hrbrmstr/rdatainfo’)` in an R session. If you’ve got R/Rscript in the standard `/usr/local/bin` location, then you should be able to hit `` on any `.rdata`, `.rda` or `.rds` file and see a `str()` preview like this:


I haven’t cracked open Xcode in a while and my Objective-C is super-rusty, but this works on my El Capitan MacBook Pro (though I’m trying to see why some `.rds` files embedded in packages on my system have no previews).

If you have suggestions or issues, please use [github](https://github.com/hrbrmstr/QuickLookR/issues) to file them. For issues, it’d be really helpful if you included a copy of or link to files that don’t work well.

For the next revision, I plan on generating prettier HTML-based previews and linking against `R.framework` to avoid a call out to the system.

If Wes/Hadley really have fixed `feather`, I’ll be making a QuickLook plugin for that file format as well in the very near future.

Cover image from Data-Driven Security
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3 Comments QuickLookR – A macOS QuickLook plugin for R Data files

  1. Pingback: QuickLookR – A macOS QuickLook plugin for R Data files – Mubashir Qasim

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