# How do I open R help about a symbol, special character, or punctuation mark like ( parenthesis or [ bracket?

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*A question I’ve googled before without success. Hopefully this answer will show up for someone who needs it. I’ll also go over the better-known uses of ? just in case.*

- To get help in
`R`

about a function like`subset`

you type`?subset`

. That’s like`man subset`

from the command line. - If you only know roughly what you’re looking for use double question marks: so
`??nonlinear`

will lead to the package`nlme`

. That’s like`apropos`

on the command line. - To get a package overview, type
`?xts::xts`

. There is no`?xts`

help. Packages that don’t have`?twitteR::twitteR`

you will need to use`??twitteR`

to find the help pages on`?twitteR::status-class`

,`?twitteR::dmGet`

, etc. - Finally, the question of the title.
**To get R help on punctuation such as**Examples follow:`(`

,`{`

,`[`

,```

,`::`

,`...`

,`+`

, and yes, even on`?`

itself, use single quotes to ‘escape’ the meaningful symbol.`?'`'`

`?'('`

`?'['`

`?'...'`

`?'+'`

`?'%*%'`

`?'%x%'`

`?'%o%'`

`?'%%'`

`?'%/%'`

`?'$'`

`?'^'`

`?'~'`

`?'<-'`

`?'='`

`?'<<-'`

All of the quotation marks ```

, `'`

, `"`

use the same help file so `?'"'`

or `?'`'`

will give you the help file for `?'''`

.

To

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