1 Getting Started

RStudio in version higher than 1 must be used. The bookdown package must be installed.

For the creation of the PDF file, an installation of LaTeX is necessary. Under Windows, use MikTex. The automatic download of missing packages (under Windows: MiKTeX settings, Install missing packages=Yes) is required.

The main file is index.Rmd which contains the description of the book in its header. All other .Rmd files in the folder contain a chapter: the order of chapters is that of the file names, sorted alphabetically. The references.bib file contains the bibliography.

The basic parameters of the project must be entered in the following files.

1.1 index.Rmd

In the file header, enter the title of the work and the name of the author(s).

title: "Title of the Memoir" 
author: "Authors' names"

The date field may be kept to display the knitting date automatically.

The url field contains the link to the GitHub pages of the project. It is used by build_readme().

The github-repo field contains the name of the repository of the project on GitHub. It is used to build a link to the repository from the menu bar of the GitBook version of the document.

description is used by build_readme() and to build an HTML meta tag intended for search engines. cover-image is the name of an image file that will be used by social networks when the GitBook is shared. Twitter uses both to build a link to the project. If a PDF file is used as the PDF book cover (see below), a good idea is to export it to PNG and declare the PNG file in cover-image.

The cover will be:

  • that of a book if the maintitlepage statement is present. The content of epigraph and credits will be written on page 2, with images/logo.pdf.
  • the first page of the PDF file declared in the pdftitlepage instruction if it is present.

Delete one of the two instructions in the header or both covers will be built, like in the gallery1.

The languages are specified according to the IETF language tags, such as “en-US”. The main language (lang) is that of the structure of the document, translating elements such as “chapter”. The other languages (otherlangs) can be used to switch language inside the PDF document to benefit from correct hyphenation.

The name of the .bib file containing the references is in bibliography. It must be entered with its .bib extension.

The default citation style in HTML outputs is chicago-author-date.csl. Any valid csl file can be used: uncomment the line and enter the file name. Note that PDF outputs use their own style: see below.

LaTeX specific options are:

  • documentclass: the document class is memoir for this template. The options of the memoir class are listed, not to be changed normally.
  • papersize: A4.
  • fontsize: 11pt.
  • mainfont and mathfont may replace the standard Computer Modern font. Tex Gyre fonts2 are a good choice. Both tex-gyre and tex-gyre-math LaTeX packages must be available.
  • MemoirChapStyle and MemoirPageStyle define the style of the document. Two styles are favored: companion for documents with large outer margins containing notes, references and captions, or daleif1 and Ruled for more classical layouts with small margins.
  • Margins: choose whether to use largemargins or not, and adjust the other parameters according to that. Margin values should work well in most cases.
  • toc-depth: number of levels in the table of contents, 2 by default (i.e. ### subsections are shown).
  • secnum-depth: The lowest numbered level in the document. Default is section (i.e. ##). Alternatives are chapter (i.e. #), subsection (i.e. ###) or subsubsection (i.e. ####).
  • lot and lof to add lists of tables and figures.

Bibliography is managed by BibLaTeX, whose options should not be changed except for the style. It is verbose-inote in documents with large margins to show the full citations in them. The citations are called as notes in the text. authoryear-ibid is suited for small-margin documents: the citations in the text contain author and year, and no footnote is used. The line pageref=true must be deleted or commented out if this style is used or an error may occur during LaTeX compilation.

longbibliography formats the bibliography on two columns with a small font when it is set to true. If false, the regular font is used in a single column with small margins.

The back cover appears in PDF outputs only. It is designed to to display abstract and keyword in several languages if necessary. The items of backcover are a list:

  • language: the name of the language, that will be passed to the LaTeX command \selectlanguage{}.
  • abstract: the content of the abstract.
  • keywords: a list of keywords.
  • abstractlabel and keywordlabel: the localized text to print before abstract and keywords.

backcoverfontsize may be changed better fit the page size, according to the length of the abstracts.

Some options should not be modified, including:

  • fig_crop: yes to allow cropping of excess margins of figures. GhostScript must be installed. If it is not, or in order to save computing time, the option may be set to no.

Some may be added to the header:

  • fontfamily: font, lmodern by default.
  • linestretch: line spacing, 1 by default.

For a student thesis, prepare the cover page with Word, Powerpoint or a DTP program and save it in PDF format, in A4 size. Only the first page of the PDF is used.

1.2 _bookdown.yml

Enter the name of the Rmd file that will be the result of the merging of all chapters and choose if it should be destroyed after use. It will also be the name of the PDF and Word files. The default options will suit most uses.

book_filename: "MyBook"
delete_merged_file: true

If the project is hosted on GitHub, indicate its address. Otherwise, delete the line.

repo: "https://github.com/GitHubID/Repository"

The knitted files are stored in the output directory. docs is the good choice for GitHub Pages.

1.3 _output.yml

Customize the table of contents in HTML format.

    before: |
      <li><a href="./">Bookdown book</a></li>
    after: |
      <li><a href="https://github.com/GitHubID/Repository"

Update the repository in the bs4 book options.

 repo: https://github.com/GitHubID/Repository

1.4 Multilingual documents

Languages are declared in the document header.

The main language of the document (lang) changes the name of some elements, such as the table of contents. To use other languages in the text, they must be declared in otherlangs.

Changing the language has no effect in HTML, but changes hyphenation in PDF output.

The language change in basic markdown format,

::: {lang=en-US}

is not supported by R Markdown. See the correct syntax in section 2.9.