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How do you pause an R script for a specified number of seconds or milliseconds? In many languages, there is a sleep function, but ?sleep references a data set. And ?pause and ?wait don't exist.

The intended purpose is for self-timed animations. The desired solution works without asking for user input.

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You can use the Sys.sleep function from the base package to suspend execution for a given time interval.

According to R Documentation:

Using this function allows R to temporarily be given very low priority and hence not to interfere with more important foreground tasks. Typical use is to allow a process launched from R to set itself up and read its input files before R execution is resumed.

For example:

testit <- function(x)

{

    p1 <- proc.time()

    Sys.sleep(x)

    proc.time() - p1 # The cpu usage should be negligible

}

testit(3.7)

 testit(3.7)

   user  system elapsed 

   0.00    0.00    3.71 

testit(5)

   user  system elapsed 

   0.01    0.00    5.05 

To know more about this function see help(Sys.sleep).

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