kableExtra v1.1.0


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Construct Complex Table with 'kable' and Pipe Syntax

Build complex HTML or 'LaTeX' tables using 'kable()' from 'knitr' and the piping syntax from 'magrittr'. Function 'kable()' is a light weight table generator coming from 'knitr'. This package simplifies the way to manipulate the HTML or 'LaTeX' codes generated by 'kable()' and allows users to construct complex tables and customize styles using a readable syntax.


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When we are talking about table generators in R, knitr's kable() function is usually a popular choice because of its ultimate simplicity. Unlike those powerful table rendering engines such as xtable, the philosophy behind knitr::kable() is to make it easy for programmers to use. Just as it claimed in its function description,

This is a very simple table generator. It is simple by design. It is not intended to replace any other R packages for making tables. - Yihui

However, the ultimate simplicity of kable() also brought troubles to some of us, especially for new R users, who may not have a lot of experience on generating tables in R. It is not rare to see people including experienced users asking questions like how to center/left-align a table on Stack Overflow. Also, for me personally, I found myself repeatedly parsing CSS into kable() for some very simple features like striped lines. For LaTeX, it's even worse since I'm almost Stack Overflow dependent for LaTeX... That's why this package kableExtra was created.

I hope with kableExtra, you can

  • Use default base kable() (Or a good alternative for markdown tables is pander::pander()) for all simple tables
  • Use kable() with kableExtra to generate 90 % of complex/advanced/self-customized/beautiful tables in either HTML or LaTeX
  • Only have to mess with raw HTML/LaTeX in the last 10% cases where kableExtra cannot solve the problem

This package can load required LaTeX package automatically in vanilla rmarkdown. For customized rmarkdown templates, it is recommended to load related LaTeX packages manually.


Pipable syntax

kableExtra is NOT a table generating package. It is a package that can "add features" to a kable() output using a syntax that every useR loves - the pipes %>%. We see similar approaches to deal with plots in packages like ggvis and plotly. There is no reason why we cannot use it with tables.

Unified functions for both HTML and PDF

Most functionalities in kableExtra can work in both HTML and PDF. In fact, as long as you specifies format in kable() (which can be set globally through option knitr.table.format), functions in this package will pick the right way to manipulate the table be themselves. As a result, if users want to left align the table, kable(...) %>% kable_styling(position = "left") will work in both HTML and PDF.



# For dev version

Basic Usage

dt <- mtcars[1:5, 1:4]

# HTML table
kable(dt, format = "html", caption = "Demo Table") %>%
  kable_styling(bootstrap_options = "striped",
                full_width = F) %>%
  add_header_above(c(" ", "Group 1" = 2, "Group 2[note]" = 2)) %>%
  add_footnote(c("table footnote"))

# LaTeX Table
kable(dt, format = "latex", booktabs = T, caption = "Demo Table") %>%
  kable_styling(latex_options = c("striped", "hold_position"),
                full_width = F) %>%
  add_header_above(c(" ", "Group 1" = 2, "Group 2[note]" = 2)) %>%
  add_footnote(c("table footnote"))


More Information

For more information, please check the package vignette.


I would like to thank colleagues at Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research and the Boston Pepper Center for their input. I also would like to appreciate the mentorship from Tom Travison (@tgt75) and all the efforts from the open source community, which help this package keep getting better.

Functions in kableExtra

Name Description
group_rows Put a few rows of a table into one category
landscape Print the table on an isolated landscape page in PDF
html_dependency_kePrint HTML dependency for js script to enable bootstrap tooltip and popup message
xml_as_kable Convert XML back to kable
rmd_format Rmarkdown Format
xtable2kable Convert xtable to a kable object
row_spec Specify the look of the selected row
magic_mirror Magic mirror that returns kable's attributes
kableExtra-package kableExtra
reexports Objects exported from other packages
cell_spec Specify Cell/Text format
spec_tooltip Setup bootstrap tooltip
kable_as_xml Read HTML kable as XML
usepackage_latex Load a LaTeX package
kable_styling HTML table attributes
html_dependency_bsTable HTML dependency for Twitter bootstrap (table only)
linebreak Make linebreak in LaTeX Table cells
save_kable Save kable to files
scroll_box Put a HTML table into a scrollable box
kableExtra_latex_packages LaTeX Packages
spec_popover Setup bootstrap popover
spec_font_size Generate common font size for continuous values
kable_as_image Deprecated
spec_angle Generate rotation angle for continuous values
spec_color Generate viridis Color code for continuous values
add_footnote Add footnote
add_header_above Add a header row on top of current header
auto_index Automatically figuring out the group_row index
footnote Add footnote (new)
footnote_marker_number Footnote marker
collapse_rows Collapse repeated rows to multirow cell
column_spec Specify the look of the selected column
add_indent Add indentations to row headers
as_image Render the table as an format-independent image and use it in rmarkdown
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