document-package: Document a Single R Code File

document-packageR Documentation

Document a Single R Code File


Have you ever been tempted to create roxygen2-style documentation comments for one of your functions that was not part of one of your packages (yet)? This is exactly what this package is about: running roxygen2::roxygenize on (chunks of) a single code file.
This package enables you to

  1. create function documentation with roxygen2

  2. detect code/documentation mismatches

  3. save the documentation to disk

  4. view the documentation in your interactive R session

You will probably be looking for document and man, the remaining functions are mainly for internal use.


R is a programming language that supports and checks documentation for program libraries (called ‘packages’). The package roxygen2 provides a tool for creating documentation from annotated source code - much like doxygen, javadoc and docstrings/pydoc do.

And R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, used by people like me who start out hacking down code, eventually pouring chunks of code into functions (and sometimes even ending up creating and documenting packages). Along that work flow you cannot use R's documentation system, let alone roxygen2, unless you have come to forge your code into a package.

I am fully aware of the fact that roxygen2 is meant to document packages, not single code chunks. So should you. Nevertheless I feel the temptation to use roxygen2-style comments in code chunks that are not part of any package. And to convert them to pdf for better readability.


This package writes to disk, so never run as superuser.


This package is basically a wrapper to

  1. roxygen2. It internally creates a temporary package from the code file provided (using utils::package.skeleton) which it then passes to roxygen2::roxygenize.

  2. R CMD commands run by callr.

See Also

docstring ( also creates temporary help pages as well but using a different technical approach (allowing you to view them in the RStudio help pane). But it creates them from python style docstring-like comments it then parses into roxygen2. And it does not write to file so far.

document documentation built on July 9, 2023, 5:22 p.m.