Graphical message boxes with R package tcltk

February 29, 2012

(This article was first published on W. Andrew Barr's Paleoecology Blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Sometimes you just need a graphical messagebox….know what I mean? If only because it pops up in front of all the other open windows and alerts you to the fact that your R script is waiting for you to do something, or is finished doing something else.

The R package “tcltk” is the easiest way I have found to do this.  On Mac OSX you need to first install the Universal Tcl/Tk for X11(available here).  I haven’t tried it on Windows, but I don’t think this extra step is necessary.  Now just install the R package “tcltk” in the normal way, for example


Now you should have access to functions like this…..
tk_messageBox(type=”ok”,message=”I am a tkMessageBox!”)

There are different types of messagebox (yesno, okcancel, etc). See ?tk_messageBox.

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