highlightHTML: CSS Formatting of R Markdown Documents

Journal of Open Source Software, 3(21), 185

Brandon LeBeau

Markdown is a markup language with light formatting options and has become popular within the R community for creating dynamic, reproducible reports. The benefits of this approach to reproducible reports include a simple syntax, ability to focus on content instead of appearance, and the interaction of code with text. However, there are times when formatting is useful to highlight aspects of a table or text more generally within a report. The highlightHTML package (LeBeau 2017) is an R package (R Core Team 2016) that extends the basic formatting of markdown documents using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and HTML ids. As CSS is used to do the formatting, the limits in the styles that can be implemented are up to the amount of CSS knowledge the author has.

The hightlightHTML package fits nicely into the workflow of a reproducible research report as the package can dynamically insert the ids into tables with R code. Lastly, compilation from rmarkdown or markdown to HTML can be done directly from the package which makes use of the render function from the rmarkdown package (Allaire et al. 2016). The package vignette includes more information on this package, including simple example files to show the features in more detail. Below is example output of one of these examples. Link to release can be found here: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.265701