First I’d like to thank my employer, RStudio, for providing me the opportunity to work on this exciting project. I was hoping to work on it when I first saw the GitBook project in 2013, because I immediately realized it was a beautiful book style and there was a lot more power we could add to it, judging from my experience of writing the knitr book (Xie 2015) and reading other books. R Markdown became mature after two years, and luckily, bookdown became my official job in late 2015. There are not many things in the world better than the fact that your job happens to be your hobby (or vice versa). I totally enjoyed messing around with JavaScript libraries, LaTeX packages, and endless regular expressions in R. Honestly I should also thank Stack Overflow (, and I believe you all know what I mean, if you have ever written any program code.

This project is certainly not a single person’s effort. Several colleagues at RStudio have helped me along the way. Hadley Wickham provided a huge amount of feedback during the development of bookdown, as he was working on his book R for Data Science with Garrett Grolemund. JJ Allaire and Jonathan McPherson provided a lot of technical help directly to this package as well as support in the RStudio IDE. Jeff Allen, Chaita Chaudhari, and the RStudio Connect team have been maintaining the website. Robby Shaver designed a nice cover image for this book. Both Hadley Wickham and Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel reviewed the manuscript and gave me a lot of helpful comments. Tareef Kawaf tried his best to help me become a professional software engineer. It is such a blessing to work in this company with enthusiastic and smart people. I remember once I told Jonathan, “hey I found a problem in caching HTML widgets dependencies and finally figured out a possible solution”. Jonathan grabbed his beer and said, “I already solved it.” “Oh, nice, nice.”

I also received a lot of feedback from book authors outside RStudio, including Jan de Leeuw, Jenny Bryan, Dean Attali, Rafael Irizarry, Michael Love, Roger Peng, Andrew Clark, and so on. Some users also contributed code to the project and helped revise the book. Here is a list of all contributors: It feels good when you invent a tool and realize you are also the beneficiary of your own tool. As someone who loves the GitHub pull request model, I wished readers did not have to email me there was a typo or obvious mistake in my book, but could just fix it via a pull request. This was made possible in bookdown. You can see how many pull requests on typos I have merged: It is nice to have so many outsourced careful human spell checkers. It is not that I do not know how to use a real spell checker, but I do not want to do this before the book is finished, and the evil Yihui also wants to leave a few simple tasks to the readers to engage them in improving the book.

Callum Webb kindly designed a nice hexbin sticker for bookdown.

The bookdown package is not possible without a few open-source software packages. In particular, Pandoc, GitBook, jQuery, and the dependent R packages, not to mention R itself. I thank the developers of these packages.

I moved to Omaha, Nebraska, in 2015, and enjoyed one year at Steeplechase Apartments, where I lived comfortably while developing the bookdown package, thanks to the extremely friendly and helpful staff. Then I met a professional and smart realtor, Kevin Schaben, who found a fabulous home for us in an amazingly short period of time, and I finished this book in our new home.

John Kimmel, the editor from Chapman & Hall/CRC, helped me publish my first book. It is my pleasure to work with him again. He generously agreed to let me keep the online version of this book for free, so I can continue to update it after it is printed and published (i.e., you do not have to wait for years for the second edition to correct mistakes and introduce new features). I wish I could be as open-minded as he is when I’m his age. Rebecca Condit and Suzanne Lassandro proofread the manuscript, and their suggestions were professional and helpful. Shashi Kumar solved some of my technical issues with the publisher’s LaTeX class (krantz.cls) when I was trying to integrate it with bookdown. I also appreciate the very helpful comments from the reviewers Jan de Leeuw, Karl Broman, Brooke Anderson, Michael Grayling, Daniel Kaplan, and Max Kuhn.

Lastly I want to thank my family, in particular, my wife and son, for their support. The one-year-old has discovered that my monitor will light up when he touches my keyboard, so occasionally he just creeps into my office and presses randomly on the keyboard when I’m away. I’m not sure if this counts as his contribution to the book… @)!%)&@*

Yihui Xie
Elkhorn, Nebraska


Xie, Yihui. 2015. Dynamic Documents with R and Knitr. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, Florida: Chapman; Hall/CRC.