I have been using the xarinagn package developed by Yihui Xie for a while now and have been using that to create presentations within my company. I really like what xaringan offers to the R users. I had modified the YAML of the markdown page a little so that I could have my own css file and my layout which displays company name and logo at the footer. I was copying and pasting the css file and logo file to all the presentation folder I would create. After sometime of copying and pasting process, I thought to myself that may be somebody has already developed tools for things like this so you can have your own template and that would eliminate this clunky method of copying and pasting to get the desired layout of your presentation.

I went to our old friend Google and asked on how to create a template on RStudio. Then I found out the post written by Chester Ismay which describes the process of creating your own custom template that can be used in Rstudio. I was very excited.

The basic principle behind creating these templates is that you would create a R package and would include skeleton.Rmd , and any files that would be required for that skeleton.Rmd and put in the skeleton folder in the inst folder of the package that you create.

Let me give you an example. We can use devtools R package to create a new package for us. Use the following command to create a new package.

devtools::create("DSI Template")

This newly created package would just have bunch of core files such as description, namespace, and R folder. Then the next step is to create inst folder on the root level as R folder and man folder.

I used the following command from Chester’s post to create a skeleton folder which is 5 levels inside the inst folder.

dir.create("dsitemplate/inst/rmarkdown/templates/report/skeleton", recursive = TRUE)

So, far we have created a package and created bunch of empty folders. Next step is to create a new Rmd file in Rstudio. You can either copy and paste what you want to include in your Rmd file. In my case I copied the code that I was using in my presentations. The code looked like following:

title: "Research Update"
subtitle: "⚔<br/>Week 12-25 to 12-29"
author: "Janesh Devkota"
date: "2016/12/22"
    css: ["footer-header.css", "default"]
    lib_dir: libs
      highlightStyle: github
      highlightLines: true
      countIncrementalSlides: false

layout: true
<div class="my-header"></div>

<div class="my-footer"><span>Company Name   


I saved this skeleton.Rmd file in the skeleton folder that we created earlier. Inside the skeleton folder, I copied two other dependent files footer-header.css and logo.png file.

One more thing to do before installing the package on our machine. We need to create a yaml file. This is very important because if we don’t create it, the template would appear in Rstudio.

My template.yaml file looks like following:

name: DSI Template
description: DSI Template
create_dir: true

You can give the same information for name and description. In my case, I have added additional dependent files so I have included another option create_dir: true as well.

Now, we are ready to install this package on our machine. To do so, please follow the code below:

> devtools::install("dsitemplate")
Installing dsitemplate
"C:/PROGRA~1/R/R-34~1.3/bin/x64/R" --no-site-file --no-environ --no-save --no-restore --quiet CMD INSTALL "D:/Personal Projects/R  \
  Projects/New folder/template_xaringan/dsitemplate" --library="C:/Users/DSI/Documents/R/win-library/3.4" --install-tests 

* installing *source* package 'dsitemplate' ...
** inst
** help
No man pages found in package  'dsitemplate' 
*** installing help indices
  converting help for package 'dsitemplate'
    finding HTML links ... done
** building package indices
** testing if installed package can be loaded
*** arch - i386
*** arch - x64
* DONE (dsitemplate)

Now that we have installed the package, go ahead and close your Rstudio instance and reopen it. Now, if you click new Rmarkdown and choose From Template you would see the following options:



In my case I should give name in the Name field and it would create a directory with the template R markdown file as well as css and logo file.

This is how I created a template for Rmarkdown and now you can too.