Editing Markdown notebooks in RStudio is now a piece of cake
R Programming language is one of the main programming languages when it comes to statistical computing, Machine Learning and Data Science, and RStudio is by far the best IDE for working with R Programming Language. Unlike Python where you have dozens of options like Conda, Notebooks, command line, etc., for the folks who are keen to R, it’s pretty much settled that RStudio is the best tool.
One of the coolest things of working with RStudio is editing R Markdown notebooks, similar to what Jupyter Notebooks can give you, but integrated right on the IDE, with lots of parameters and the possibility of publishing, exporting to files, mixing code with text, graphics and other types of content. And while that was never super difficult, it left a lot to desire in terms of customization and usability, especially since R is a programming language used by a lot of people who don’t have an IT developer background.
That’s changed with the most recent version of RStudio. RStudio 1.4, though. This version is available for a few months now and it has brought some functionalities that will greatly help everyone editing R Markdown notebooks, and that’s something called Visual Markdown editor.
First, make sure you have RStudio 1.4 installed in your environment. You can download the latest RStudio version here:
Download the RStudio IDE
RStudio is a set of integrated tools designed to help you be more productive with R. It includes a console…
Then, in RStudio, toggle on the Visual Markdown editor clicking here:
Next, let’s see what it can do. While Markdown is an easy enough language to work with, it can always get better, especially for non-programmers or lazy people (that’s okay, we’ve all been there). Here’s some of the stuff you can do with Visual Editor:
Basic text formatting: stuff like putting text in bold, creating a header, bullet lists, and all of the basic stuff is easier than ever.
Insert (and edit) tables: if you already worked with Markdown, you know what a pain it can be to insert and work with tables in it.
Insert images, videos, GIFs: another functionality that is 100% faster now.
Last but not least, the always fun programming stuff is also covered by this editor. It’s also possible (and very easy) to:
- Add R code blocks with the same configuration capabilities as the “usual” editor
- Add code blocks for other languages
- Add math equations, etc.
And how about you, what do you think? Let me know in the comment section if I missed something, if you had any issues using this new editing mode, or anything else, really.
See you guys next time!