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Learning all of the functions needed to become proficient in R is a substantial undertaking. Flashcards are a great way to learn the syntax of computer languages (Hermans 2021). The goal of flashr (pronounced “flash-r”) is to provide a quick way to view decks of flashcards.

flashr can use existing built-in flashcard decks hosted at the flashr_decks GitHub repo, including functions and arguments from R for Data Science, first edition and glossaries from several psyTeachR books. Check out some example decks.

In addition to built-in decks, you can easily create your own decks using CSV files. This allows you to customize existing decks or create completely new decks. Also, while geared toward learning R, this package can be used to build decks for anything—not just computer syntax!


You can install the stable released version of flashr from CRAN with:


You can install the development version of flashr like so:

# install.packages("remotes")


To view, for example, the flashcard deck on data types:


This randomizes the order of terms and give terms before descriptions. If you would like to present descriptions before terms:

flashcard("data_types", termsfirst = FALSE)

Building decks

To build your own deck, save a CSV file with a term column and a description column. You can also include a package column if you want the package name included with the term and a title column if you want to specify the title of the deck.

my_deck <- read.csv("inst/extdata/operators.csv")
#>   term            description package     title
#> 1    =    assignment operator    base Operators
#> 2   <-    assignment operator    base          
#> 3   |> pipe operator (base R)    base          
#> 4    +               addition    base          
#> 5    -            subtraction    base          
#> 6    *         multiplication    base

Then run the flashcard() function on your file.


Check out the Get Started vignette for more details on creating your own flashcard deck.


To cite flashr, use:

Stevens, Jeffrey R. (2024). flashr: Creates flashcards of terms and definitions. (version 0.1.2) https://cran.r-project.org/package=flashr

Contributing to this package

Contributions to flashr are most welcome! Feel free to check out open issues for ideas. And pull requests are encouraged, but you may want to raise an issue or contact the maintainer first.


This work was funded by US National Science Foundation grant NSF-1658837.


Hermans, F. (2021). The Programmer’s Brain. Manning. https://www.manning.com/books/the-programmers-brain