R-Ladies presentation ninja

So, you are doing an R-Ladies presentation…that’s awesome!

The short version

I made an R-Ladies theme for xaringan slides. My original tweet about it:

The way to use the theme is to update the YAML like so:

    css: ["default", "rladies", "rladies-fonts"]

Make sure your version of xaringan is up-to-date.

Below is a demo slide deck using the theme.

(view the source .Rmd on GitHub)

The longer story

I recommend Yihui’s xaringan package for slides. This is an R package, available through GitHub, for creating slideshows with remark.js through R Markdown. This means that you can:

  • write all your slides in Markdown text
  • include chunks of R code and rendered output like plots, results, tables, etc. in your slides
  • use git for version control and share your GitHub repository

This makes xaringan ideal for an R-Ladies presentation!1

To use the package, you’ll need the devtools package installed so that you can use the install_github function. Then do:


As Yihui points out in the documentation, if you use RStudio, you can use the menu to navigate to File -> New File -> R Markdown -> From Template -> Ninja Presentation, and you will see an R Markdown example.

I first used xaringan a few months ago. I was working with Yihui on the blogdown book, and had signed up to lead a workshop for the Portland R User group. Obviously, such a workshop could not have powerpoint slides, so it seemed like the perfect time to learn xaringan.

For my workshop, I made a simple website for the newly founded R-Ladies PDX using blogdown (Thanks to Augustina and Deeksha, our fearless organizers). So naturally, my slides needed more purple.

Luckily, the R-Ladies run a tight ship- they have a starter kit on GitHub that details all the pretty purples they like.

About a month after I did the R-Ladies blogdown workshop, I saw this blog post by Yihui:

First, I thought this was such a cool idea and I hope more people make and submit themes. Then I realized, I had already made a theme! I submitted a pull request2, Yihui helped me make some edits to the CSS files to make them more parsimonious with the default theme, I electronically signed a contributor agreement, and now the theme is there for you all to enjoy and use! You use the theme by editing the YAML:

    css: ["default", "rladies", "rladies-fonts"]

Some examples:

If you use the theme and you are on twitter, I’d love to see it- please mention me on twitter!


  1. If you are new to xaringan, don’t miss the wiki!

  2. Yihui’s technical instructions for contributors section of that blog post has been revised and is very detailed