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I often find myself writing R scripts that generate a lot of output. I find it cleaner to put this output into its own directory(s). What I've written below will check for the existence of a directory and move into it, or create the directory and then move into it. Is there a better way to approach this?

mainDir <- "c:/path/to/main/dir"

subDir <- "outputDirectory"

if (file.exists(subDir)){

    setwd(file.path(mainDir, subDir))

} else {

    dir.create(file.path(mainDir, subDir))

    setwd(file.path(mainDir, subDir))


1 Answer

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To check the existence of a directory, you can use the following code:

This code will return TRUE if a directory exists and FALSE otherwise.

dir.exists(file.path(mainDir, subDir))


This code will create a directory and if it exists already, it will return FALSE.

dir.create(file.path(mainDir, subDir))

setwd(file.path(mainDir, subDir))


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