Quick Hit: Updates to QuickLookR and {rdatainfo}

hrbrmstr profile image boB Rudis Originally published at rud.is on ・2 min read

I’m using GitUgh links here b/c the issue was submitted there. Those not wishing to be surveilled by Microsoft can find the macOS QuickLook plugin project and {rdatainfo} project in SourceHut and GitLab (~hrbrmstr and hrbrmstr accounts respectively).

I hadn’t touched QuickLookR or {rdatainfo} at all since 2016 since it was really just an example proof of concept. Yet the suggestion to have it handle R markdown (Rmd) files felt useful so I updated {rdatainfo} to better handle data loading for rds, rdata, and rda file extensions and made a small update to the macOS {QuickLookR} QuickLook extension project to treat Rmd files as text files which can be previewed then edited with the default Finder extension exitor you’ve (or your apps) have set for Rmd files.

The {rdatainfo} package is only needed if you need/want R data file preview support (i.e. it’s not necessary for R markdown files). Just unzip the plugin release and put it into ~/Library/QuickLook. Here are examples for the four file types (the example code under saveRDS() and save() was used to generate those data files and the R markdown file is the default one):

file icons

file icons

Rmd preview

Rmd Preview

rds preview

rds preview

rdata preview

rdata preview


This is my first Xcode app build under macOS 10.14 so definitely file issues if you’re having trouble installing or compiling (there are some new shared library “gotchas” that I don’t think apply to this Xcode project but may).

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boB Rudis


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