Have you ever tried to find a lightweight yet nice theme for the R Markdown documents, like this page?

Themes for R Markdown

With the powerful rmarkdown package, we could easily create nice HTML document by adding some meta information in the header, for example

title: Nineteen Years Later
author: Harry Potter
date: July 31, 2016
    theme: lumen

The html_document engine uses the Bootswatch theme library to support different styles of the document. This is a quick and easy way to tune the appearance of your document, yet with the price of a large file size (> 700KB) since the whole Bootstrap library needs to be packed in.

For package vignettes, we can use the html_vignette engine to generate a more lightweight HTML file that is meant to minimize the package size, but the output HTML is less stylish than the html_document ones.

So can we do BOTH, a lightweight yet nice-looking theme for R Markdown?

The prettydoc Engine

The answer is YES! (At least towards that direction)

The prettydoc package provides an alternative engine, html_pretty, to knit your R Markdown document into pretty HTML pages. Its usage is extremely easy: simply replace the rmarkdown::html_document or rmarkdown::html_vignette output engine by prettydoc::html_pretty in your R Markdown header, and use one of the built-in themes and syntax highlighters. For example

title: Nineteen Years Later
author: Harry Potter
date: July 31, 2016
    theme: cayman
    highlight: github

You can also create documents from prettydoc templates in RStudio.

Step 1: Click the “New File” button and choose “R Markdown”.

Step 2: In the “From Template” tab, choose one of the built-in templates.

Options and Themes

The options for the html_pretty engine are mostly compatible with the default html_document (see the documentation) with a few exceptions:

  1. Currently the theme option can take the following values. More themes will be added in the future.
    • cayman: Modified from the Cayman theme.
    • tactile: Modified from the Tactile theme.
    • architect: Modified from the Architect theme.
    • leonids: Modified from the Leonids theme.
    • hpstr: Modified from the HPSTR theme.
  2. The highlight option takes value from github and vignette.
  3. A new math parameter to choose between mathjax and katex for rendering math expressions. The katex option supports offline display when there is no internet connection.
  4. Options code_folding, code_download and toc_float are not applicable.

See the Themes page for an overview of the available themes in prettydoc.