I received a question recently about R Commander, a free R package.

R Commander overlays a menu-based interface to R, so just like SPSS or JMP, you can run analyses using menus. Nice, huh?

The question was whether R Commander does everything R does, or just a small subset.

Unfortunately, R Commander can’t do everything R does. Not even close.

But it does *a lot*. More than just the basics.

So I thought I would show you some of the things R Commander can do entirely through menus–no programming required, just so you can see just how unbelievably useful it is.

### Data Sets and Variables

**Import data sets from other software:**

- SPSS
- Stata
- Excel
- Minitab
- Text
- SAS Xport

**Define Numerical Variables as categorical and label the values**

**Open the data sets that come with R packages**

**Merge Data Sets**

**Edit and show the data in a data spreadsheet**

Personally, I think that if this was all R Commander did, it would be incredibly useful. These are the types of things I just cannot remember all the commands for, since I just don’t use R often enough.

### Data Analysis

Yes, R Commander does many of the simple statistical tests you’d expect:

- Chi-square tests
- Paired and Independent Samples t-tests
- Tests of Proportions
- Common nonparametrics, like Friedman, Wilcoxon, and Kruskal-Wallis tests
- One-way ANOVA and simple linear regression

What is surprising though, is how many higher-level statistics and models it runs:

- Hierarchical and K-Means Cluster analysis (with 7 linkage methods and 4 options of distance measures)
- Principal Components and Factor Analysis
- Linear Regression (with model selection, influence statistics, and multicollinearity diagnostic options, among others)
- Logistic regression for binary, ordinal, and multinomial responses
- Generalized linear models, including Gamma and Poisson models

In other words–you can use R Commander to run in R most of the analyses that most researchers need.

### Graphs

A sample of the types of graphs R Commander creates in R without you having to write any code:

- QQ Plots
- Scatter plots
- Histograms
- Box Plots
- Bar Charts

The nice part is that it does not only do simple versions of these plots. You can, for example, add regression lines to a scatter plot or run histograms by a grouping factor.