Custom Settings

The examples in this section presume you are setting individual user account settings by changing files in ~/.config/rstudio (Mac/Linux) or AppData/Roaming/RStudio/ (Windows). For information on server wide setting on Posit Workbench or RStudio Server, see the Customizing Session Settings section from

# Mac or Linux, user level
# Windows

User preferences

User preferences set in the RStudio Global Options dialog can also be set in the JSON file rstudio-prefs.json, located in the settings directory:

# Mac or Linux, user level
# Windows

You can see a summary of this information in the Session User Settings appendix.


You can install snippets files into ~/.config/rstudio/snippets (Mac/Linux) or AppData/Roaming/RStudio/snippets (Windows). For example, if you’d like to create a snippet lib for an R library call:

# ~/.config/rstudio/snippets on Mac/Linux
# AppData/Roaming/RStudio/snippets on Windows
snippet lib

You can also define snippets for CSS files in the file css.snippets, and so on. Documentation on the snippet file format can be found in the Cloud 9 IDE snippet documentation. For more information on custom snippets, see the RStudio Custom Snippets section.


RStudio will not merge snippet files.

If you define your own snippets (for a given file type), they will replace those that ship with RStudio (for that same file type).

Default document templates

RStudio typically opens new documents with completely blank contents. You can, however, define the contents of the blank document by creating a file named default.X in ~/.config/rstudio/templates (Mac/Linux) or AppData/Roaming/RStudio/templates (Windows), where X is the file extension you wish to customize. For example, to start all R scripts with a standard comment header users can fill out, you could use the following:

# ~/.config/rstudio/templates on Mac/Linux
# AppData/Roaming/RStudio/templates on Windows
# -------------------------------------
# Script:
# Author:
# Purpose:
# Notes:
# Copyright(c) Corporation Name
# -------------------------------------

There are also some special template files which ship with RStudio; these, too, are customizable. In ~/.config/rstudio/templates (Mac/Linux) or AppData/Roaming/RStudio/templates (Windows), you can customize the following:

File Description
document.Rmd The default R Markdown document file content (without YAML header)
document.qmd The default Quarto document file content (without YAML header)
notebook.Rmd The default R Notebook file content (without YAML header)
presentation.Rmd The default R Markdown presentation file content (without YAML header)
presentation.qmd The default Quarto presentation file content (without YAML header)
shiny.Rmd The default Shiny R Markdown file content (without YAML header)
query.sql The default SQL query

For Quarto and R Markdown documents, templates should not have a YAML header. The File > New File workflow provides a popup wizard where users select specific options that populate the YAML header.

Color themes

You can define additional custom themes for RStudio by placing .rstheme files in the following directory:

# Mac or Linux
# Windows

The .rstheme file contains plain-text CSS with some special metadata. You can create one by importing an existing TextMate theme file, or by starting from scratch (using an existing theme file as a template). Run the R command ?rstudioapi::addTheme for more help. For more information on custom themes, see the RStudio Themes section.


RStudio or editor keybindings can be defined using the following two files:

# Mac or Linux

# Windows

For more information on creating custom shortcuts, see RStudio Custom Shortcuts.


You can define additional spelling dictionaries for RStudio by placing dictionary files in the following folders:

  • Languages in rstudio/dictionaries/languages-system
  • Dictionaries in rstudio/dictionaries/custom


Define additional system languages by placing Hunspell .aff files in:

# Mac or Linux
# Windows


Define additional custom dictionaries by placing Hunspell .dic files in:

# Mac or Linux
# Windows