The Interface

Customizing View and Saving Perspectives

Customizing Architect's interface is easy. This section presents several ways to configure the layout to your liking.

Dragging Borders

Windows within Architect can be resized by clicking on the grey borders between views and dragging them to the desired location.

Rearranging Views

To split or merge different views, click, drag and drop! An existing window can be further split horizontally or vertically.

Popping Out Views

Views can also be popped out of Architect entirely. This is particularly useful when customizing for a dual-monitor setup.

Minimizing and Maximizing

Groups of views can be minimized and maximized with single clicks. Below, we minimize the Object Browser and R Help views. A side pane for these minimized views is then created on the left-hand side.

Saving and Switching Perspectives

Once you've customized the layout to your liking, you can save your layout as a 'Perspective'. In this way, you can quickly switch between your custom perspectives, depending on the type of work you're doing or how many monitors you have on hand.

Project Explorer

The number of projects you have can grow quite large, and Architect provides tools to help you manage the chaos.

Linking Scripts and Project Explorer

To help avoid excessive scrolling through the Project Explorer, or confusion over similarly named files, Architect allows you to link your scripts with the Project Explorer.

By toggling the button in the Project Explorer view, open scripts will show their corresponding folder in the Project Explorer when clicked on. Notice how the script highlighted in the Project Explorer changes as we click on different scripts in the script window.

This feature helps keep your different 'DESCRIPTION' and 'server.R' files sorted when developing multiple R Packages or Shiny applications.

Defining and Selecting 'Working Sets'

As the number of projects grows larger, it may not be desirable to have all of your projects displayed at once. 'Working Sets' are subsets of projects that you can define and switch between.

In our hypothetical example, we have four projects, and want to define two of them as school projects. If we assign them to a working set, we will see only those two projects while hiding the others.

Here we add the 'epidemiology' and 'regressionAnalysis' projects to the 'school' working set. When we select this working set, only these projects are displayed in the Project Explorer.

To see all projects again, click the carrot in the Project Explorer view and choose 'Deselect Working Set'.


The Console is your window for processing all R commands. Previously we discussed different methods of evaluating code in the console. In this section, we'll take a closer look at some of the console view functionalities.

Restarting, Cancelling, Terminating

There is a toolbar at the top of the console. The leftmost buttons are for used to interact with a current running console.

  • : restart console in the current working directory
  • : cancel the currently running task. Click this to manually end an in-progress command. Your console will display the text <processing> in the top right corner if a task is running, and <idle> otherwise. Note that you may need to increase the width of your console to see this text. (see below)

  • : terminate the current R console. Effectively, this button just calls the R command 'q()'.
  • : remove a terminated console. After you've terminated a console, it will remain open. Clicking this button removes the terminated console entirely.
  • : remove all terminated consoles.

Managing Multiple Consoles

Architect allows you to have multiple instances of the console running in parallel. To start an additional console, simply click the button on the top Architect toolbar. Once you have multiple consoles running, the console switcher will become illuminated. There are two buttons here:

  • : cycle through all open consoles, one at a time
  • : opens a drop-down menu with all open consoles. This is particularly useful when you have a large number of consoles open.

R Graphics View

Architect comes with an embedded R Graphics viewer. The first time you make a graph in the default device, the R Graphics viewer should open automatically. But if you've closed it for some reason, it can be reopened via Window > Show View > Other > StatET > R Graphics.

Sometimes when making a graph, you'll find that the produced graph isn't properly scaled to the R Graphics device. To rescale, click the button, and the plot will resize to the current window's dimensions.

Alternatively, you can use a non-embedded graphics device which does not need to be frequently rescaled. For instructions on configuration, see the section Non-Embedded R Graphics View.

Object Browser

One of Architect's unique features is a view called the 'Object Browser'. Think of it as a visual representation of an ls() call.

The object browser allows you to inspect defined objects in your current R session. This view lets you preview the structure of complex objects, and track changes to the elements of your R session on the fly. Right clicking on an object brings up additional options, like printing the object to the R Console or taking a closer look with Architect's data viewer. See the Object Browser in action below: