How to read this book

This book may serve you better as a reference book than a textbook. It contains a large number of technical details, and we do not expect you to read it from beginning to end, since you may easily feel overwhelmed. Instead, think about your background and what you want to do first, and go to the relevant chapters or sections. For example:

  • I just want to finish my course homework (Chapter 2 should be more than enough for you).

  • I know this is an R Markdown book, but I use Python more than R (Go to Section 2.7.1).

  • I want to embed interactive plots in my reports, or want my readers to be able change my model parameters interactively and see results on the fly (Check out Section 2.8).

  • I know the output format I want to use, and I want to customize its appearance (Check out the documentation of the specific output format in Chapter 3 or Chapter 4). For example, I want to customize the template for my PowerPoint presentation (Go to Section 4.4.1).

  • I want to build a business dashboard highlighting some key figures and indicators (Go to Chapter 5).

  • I heard about yolo = TRUE from a friend, and I’m curious what that means in the xaringan package (Go to Chapter 7).

  • I want to build a personal website (Go to Chapter 10), or write a book (Go to Chapter 12).

  • I want to write a paper and submit to the Journal of Statistical Software (Go to Chapter 13).

  • I want to build an interactive tutorial with exercises for my students to learn a topic (Go to Chapter 14).

  • I’m familiar with R Markdown now, and I want to generate personalized reports for all my customers using the same R Markdown template (Try parameterized reports in Chapter 15).

  • I know some JavaScript, and want to build an interface in R to call an interested JavaScript library from R (Learn how to develop HTML widgets in Chapter 16).

  • I want to build future reports with a company branded template that shows our logo and uses our unique color theme (Go to Chapter 17).

If you are not familiar with R Markdown, we recommend that you read at least Chapter 2 to learn the basics. All the rest of the chapters in this book can be read in any order you desire. They are pretty much orthogonal to each other. However, to become familiar with R Markdown output formats, you may want to thumb through the HTML document format in Section 3.1, because many other formats share the same options as this format.