I have recently setup polymode for use with Rnw and Rmd files.

When it came to knit/weave a document I was given the choice of four defaults; knitR-ESS, Sweave, knitR and Sweave-ESS.

I usually use knitR outside of emacs but I wondered what is the difference/advantage/disadvantage of using knitR-ESS over knitR, if any, when knitting documents?


  • Although I haven't obtained a proper answer yet this post on stackoverflow sheds some light on the question as it says that if you are using ESS, knitR-ESS will use the current R process.
    – Hantabaru
    Nov 26, 2015 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


If you have an active R process in your Emacs session, then the knitr-ESS weaver will use that process, as you've noted. That means any objects you create in your R chunks in your Rnw or Rmd document are available for interactive inspection (or even modification, although you most likely wouldn't want to do that) in the R buffer.

  • That is useful to know.
    – Hantabaru
    Mar 14, 2019 at 13:22

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