renderthis setup

To get the most out of renderthis, we recommend installing the package with dependencies and making sure that you have a local installation of Chrome.


You can install the latest version of renderthis from CRAN with:


And the development version from GitHub with:

# install.packages("remotes")

Some output formats require additional packages, and each format will provide instructions about how to install any missing dependencies. You can also choose to install renderthis with all of its dependencies:

# From CRAN
install.packages("renderthis", dependencies = TRUE)

# From GitHub
remotes::install_github("jhelvy/renderthis", dependencies = TRUE)

Local Chrome Installation

Rendering the PDF requires a local installation of Chrome. If you don’t have Chrome installed, you can use other browsers based on Chromium, such as Chromium itself, Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, or Opera. In this case, you will need to set the path to the browser you want to use for the pagedown package as well as the chromote package if you use the complex_slides = TRUE or partial_slides = TRUE arguments.

After installing the packages, you can set the paths like this:

Sys.setenv(PAGEDOWN_CHROME = "/path/to/browser")
Sys.setenv(CHROMOTE_CHROME = "/path/to/browser")

If you’re not sure where Chrome lives on your machine, try the following command to search for it:


If you are unable to install Chrome (e.g. on a computing cluster), the recommended workflow is to render intermediate output formats and use an alternative method for rendering the PDF.

For example, to render a pptx from a Rmd file without Chrome, you could:

  1. Render the html with to_html(from = "slides.Rmd")
  2. Use vscode remote and vscode-preview-server extension to open the html on a local machine (preferrably with Chrome installed)
  3. Save to pdf on Chrome
  4. Render the pptx with to_pptx(from = "slides.pdf")


Because many users will not need all output formats, several outputs require additional packages that are suggested dependencies and aren’t installed by default unless requested as described above. The table below lists the packages required for each output type:

Output Requires
PDF (simple) Google Chrome (for pagedown)
PDF (complex) chromote
PNG Requires PDF
GIF Requires PDF
MP4 av
PPTX officer
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