Check your package’s help files for non-ASCII characters

If you’re building an R package (e.g. following this simple tutorial) and have your package skeleton with the ‘man’ folder containing all your help files, it may be useful to check all those files at once for non-ASCII characters (e.g. tildes, dashes) which may not be correctly exported to other computers. The following function aplies the showNonASCIIfile R function to all files in a given folder:

multNonASCIIcheck <- function(path) {
# version 1.0 (4 Apr 2014)
# path: complete folder path to the "man" folder of your package skeleton
  odir <- getwd()
  files <- list.files()
  for (f in files) {
    cat("\n", f, "\n", sep = "")
    if(length(tools::showNonASCIIfile(f)) == 0) cat("OK\n")

[presented with Pretty R]

Load the function and give it your ‘man’ folder path to get the names of all files and the non-ASCII characters found, e.g.:


Then you can just open the problematic help files and correct the non-ASCII characters detected.


One thought on “Check your package’s help files for non-ASCII characters

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