Sublime Text 3: an alternative to RStudio

October 17, 2016

(This article was first published on Data Literacy - The blog of Andrés Gutiérrez, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

It was a Saturday morning; I was lecturing my students of my Item Response Theory class when I decided to run some R scripts to introduce my students with the JAGS syntax and the estimation of parameters in a Bayesian logistic regression setup.

As it was usual, I opened RStudio because it was my favorite R interface. So when I tried to run a Bayesian sampler with five chains in JAGS, it appeared that damn message: <>.

Rstudio bomb

So I was there, the lecture was completely stopped because of RStudio. However, knowing about those annoying disadvantages of RStudio I asked some colleagues about some other interfaces of R. The answer was convincing: Sublime Text is an editor designed for people that are serious when it comes to programming, not only in R but any other language.

So, I am just spreading the word about this editor, but I am not trying to convince you to abandon RStudio. If you want to give a try, just follow this simple steps:

  • Of course, you install R (
  • Install Sublime Text 3 (
  • Cmd + Shift + P, then type Package Control and install it.
  • Cmd + Shift + P, then type “Install Package”, look for SublimeREPL and install it.
  • Cmd + Shift + P, then type “Install Package”, look for R-Box and install it.
  • Cmd + Shift + P, then type “Install Package”, look for SendTextPlus and install it.
  • Cmd + Shift + P, then type “Install Package” look for R-Snippets and install it.
  • Cmd + Shift + P, then type “Set Syntax: R Extended”.
  • Cmd + Shift + P, then type “SendTextPlus: Choose Program” and select R.
  • Enjoy! Write your code and Cmd + Enter to send your lines to R.

You can also send your code to R within Sublime Text by using REPL. Cmd + Shift + P, then type “SublimeREPL: R” and that’s it. Please, comment your experience. You can be sure that trying this editor is worthwhile.

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