4 June 2012

Slidify: Things are coming together fast

Tools for using R/RStudio as a one-stop shop for research and presentation have been coming out quickly. I think this one has a good shot of being included in future releases of RStudio:

The other day I ran across a new R package called slidify by Ramnath Vaidyanathan. In previous posts I had been messing around with Pandoc and deck.rb to turn knitr Markdown files into HTML presentations.

Slidify has two key advantages over these approaches:

  • it can directly convert .Rnw files in R into slideshows, i.e. no toggling between R and the Terminal,

  • there are lots of slideshow options (deck.js, dzslides, html5slides, shower, and slidy).

It’s not on CRAN yet, but it worked pretty well for me.

The syntax is simple.

  • In the Markdown document demarcate new slides with --- (it has to be three dashes and there can’t be spaces after the dashes).

  • When you want to convert your .Rnw into a presentation just type:


The default style is html5slides. The package isn’t that well documented right now, but to change to a different style just use framework. For example:

    slidify("presentation.Rnw", framework = "deck.js")

I used slidify to put together a slideshow that advertises an intro applied stats course I’m teaching next semester. The slideshow is here. (You can see that I’m trying to attract social science students who are reluctant to take a stats class).

I sloppily removed the default Slidify logo by deleting the images folder in the html5slides folder slidify creates.


Oh, also you might notice that I’m using github to host the course. I hope to blog about this in the near future.


Forrest said...

Brilliant stuff, and a great presentation. I taught an introductory programming course using R to try to entice people who wanted to program and people who wanted to start climbing the learning curve of R and it was pretty successful. I'd do a few things differently the second time round but congratulations on a really nice presentation.

Unknown said...

awesome! very clear, I like it.


Ramnath said...

Thanks for using Slidify, and writing about it. The documentation is thin currently, since I have still not finalized the API. This was a pre-release to get feedback from the early adopters :-). Let me know if you have any suggestions/feedback by posting on the issues page of github.

Tal Galili said...

Two words:
1) Wow!
2) Thanks!


Christopher Gandrud said...

Great to hear people found this useful.

It's the first time I've taught the intro stats course with such a focus on R, so it would be great to hear any suggests people might have.

Ramnath, your package basically answered my prayers. Thanks for putting it together. I'm really looking forward to seeing the final version.

Vijay said...

Great presentation! I did not find it in this page, but have you posted the source code for this presentation somewhere or is it just the completed presentation.


Christopher Gandrud said...

Sorry Vijay. I haven't posted the markup file. The slidify syntax has been under going a bit of change recently and my old markup doesn't work any more.

I'll update and post it when slidify cools down.