choose.files {utils}R Documentation

Choose a List of Files Interactively on MS Windows


Use a Windows file dialog to choose a list of zero or more files interactively.


choose.files(default = "", caption = "Select files",
             multi = TRUE, filters = Filters,
             index = nrow(Filters))




which filename to show initially


the caption on the file selection dialog


whether to allow multiple files to be selected


a matrix of filename filters (see Details)


which row of filters to use by default


Unlike file.choose, choose.files will always attempt to return a character vector giving a list of files. If the user cancels the dialog, then zero files are returned, whereas file.choose would signal an error. choose.dir chooses a directory.

Windows file dialog boxes include a list of ‘filters’, which allow the file selection to be limited to files of specific types. The filters argument to choose.files allows the list of filters to be set. It should be an n by 2 character matrix. The first column gives, for each filter, the description the user will see, while the second column gives the mask(s) to select those files. If more than one mask is used, separate them by semicolons, with no spaces. The index argument chooses which filter will be used initially.

Filters is a matrix giving the descriptions and masks for the file types that R knows about. Print it to see typical formats for filter specifications. The examples below show how particular filters may be selected.

If you would like to display files in a particular directory, give a fully qualified file mask (e.g., "c:\\*.*") in the default argument. If a directory is not given, the dialog will start in the current directory the first time, and remember the last directory used on subsequent invocations.

There is a buffer limit on the total length of the selected filenames: it is large but this function is not intended to select thousands of files, when the limit might be reached.


A character vector giving zero or more file paths.


This is only available on Windows.

See Also

file.choose, choose.dir.

Sys.glob or list.files to select multiple files by pattern.


  if (interactive() && .Platform$OS.type == "windows")
       choose.files(filters = Filters[c("zip", "All"),])

[Package utils version 4.4.1 Index]