Better RStudio user interface customizability

First: I am a happy RStudio user, and it has all the functionality I need for my work, but I would really enjoy either a "minimal" theme or the ability to customize the UI a bit. For my taste the RStudio interface is to cluttered with icons, toolbars and status bars that just feel distracting and are not super useful (to me). They also use up a lot of vertical space --- which counts on my laptop.

Would it not be possible to expose the RStudio UI design (xml? html?) to users so that they can modify it to their needs and create custom themes?


I definitely agree with this request! I love RStudio but oftentimes find myself wishing that I could remove some of the window tabs that I never use. I usually just end up minimizing them to get them out of the way.

1 Like

I've hoped for a customized grid layout - having multiple vertical columns for scripts, for example. The tear-out panels does help with this though.

I expect that both of you have already seen these, but for someone newer to RStudio, there are four primary methods of customizing the view that I know of (based on the current preview version; some of these may have been added recently):

  1. You can obviously adjust the size of a given pane (and minimize/maximize them), but you might not notice the Ctrl-Shift-1 (on Windows) and related commands that immediate fully maximize a given view. See all of the shortcuts at View => Panes.
  2. You can hide the main toolbar with View => Hide Toolbar. I'm not aware of any way to remove the per-pane toolbars.
  3. You can customize the contents of the four-pane view and their order under View => Panes => Pane Layout:
  4. If you're using RStudio Server and Chrome, I highly recommend going to the Chrome menu => More Tools => Add to Desktop, making sure "Open As Window" is checked. The shortcut created on your desktop will make RStudio much more "app" like by removing the usual Chrome interface, so you at least only have the RStudio interface to deal with instead of the combined Chrome/RStudio monstrosity.

Thanks for the writeup, but I was aware of all that already :confused:

#4 was a good recommendation. I pretty much strictly run RStudio Server and hadn't thought of opening as a separate window.

Like the OP, I would like to customize the pane layout beyond the default options. I'd really like a 3 column, 1 row layout:

  • Console/Terminal
  • Source
  • Everything else

This is slightly possible with the pop-out scripts panel, but I tend to have 3-4 editor panels up at a time and it becomes unmanageable.

1 Like