Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time

pkgdown (development version)

  • pkgdown (in concert with downlit and roxygen2) is moving towards more consistent HTML structure for syntax highlighting. The goal is to always have a <div> with class sourceCode (and other classes as needed), which contains one or more <pre>s that has class sourceCode and the language, and each <pre> contains <code>. Something like this:

    <div class='sourceCode'>
      <pre class='sourceCode r'><code>1 + 1</code></pre>
      <pre class='sourceCode r-out'><code>[1] 2</code></pre>
  • Long lines in code output are now wrapped, rather than requiring scrolling. This better matches rmarkdown::html_document() and what you see in the console.

  • Use autolink_bare_uris for Pandoc above version 2.0 (@marcosmolla, #1618).

  • pkgdown now supports defining redirects. (#1259, @lorenzwalthert). The syntax is the following, with old paths on the left, and new paths or URLs on the right.

      - ["articles/old-vignette-name.html", "articles/new-vignette-name.html"]
      - ["articles/another-old-vignette-name.html", "articles/new-vignette-name.html"]
      - ["articles/yet-another-old-vignette-name.html", ""]
  • build_news() no longer breaks URLs with numeric fragments (@krassowski, #1456).

  • The 404 page (default or from .github/ is no longer built in the development mode (see ?build_site) as e.g. GitHub pages only uses the 404.html page that is at the root, that is to say, the 404 page built for the unreleased or release modes. (#1622)

  • All links on the 404 pages (navbar, scripts, CSS) are now absolute if there is an URL in the configuration file. (#1622)

  • Heading links/IDs in the changelog are now permanent except from links corresponding to the development version. They are built as the combination of the heading slug and package version number. (@Bisaloo, #1015)

  • pkgdown's deploy_to_branch() now cleans out the website directory by default (clean = TRUE). To revert to previous behaviour, call it with clean = FALSE. (#1394)

  • pkgdown now supports local searching. It is enabled by default because no set-up is needed for users to search pkgdown websites. (#1629, with help from @gustavdelius in #1655)

  • pkgdown builds a more exhaustive sitemap.xml even for websites built with Bootstrap 3. This might change Algolia results if you use Algolia for search. (#1629)

  • Styling for errors, warnings, and messages has been tweaked. Messages are now displayed the same way as output, and warnings and errors are bolded, but not coloured. This is part of a suite of changes that allow package authors greater control over message/warning/error appearance.

  • Autolinking no longer failures if a package contains duplicated Rd aliases.

  • pkgdown websites using BS4 will be more accessible, besides a better color contrast:

    • the heading anchors now have the property aria-hidden which should reduce noise for screenreader users.

    • the aria-labelledby property for navbar dropdowns was fixed.

    • the default GitHub/GitLab links gained an aria-label; use of aria-labels for other icons is encouraged in the docs. (#1635)

  • README badges in a single paragraph, placed between the badges: end and badges: end comments, are detected again (#1603).

  • Automatic links to reference pages were generated incorrectly, and self-links were generated, if the \name{} entry in the *.Rd file didn't match the filename (@dmurdoch, #1586; #1676).

  • New "Customize your pkgdown website" vignette (#1573).

  • Added extension points to make HTML widgets (and RGL in particular) work in rendered examples (@dmurdoch).

  • Allow template packages to provide a default configuration _pkgdown.yml, stored in inst/pkgdown/_pkgdown.yml. This can be used to set (e.g.) author definitions, Bootstrap version and variables, the sidebar, footer, navbar, etc.

    Configuration parameters supplied by a template package have the lowest priority They will be overridden by a local _pkgdown.yml which is in turn overridden by override parameter of build_site(). (#1499)

  • pkgdown now contains templates using Bootstrap 4 (with help from @jayhesselberth).

    • Biggest differences with the Bootstrap 3 templates and assets: bigger default font size; darker links; the active item in tables of contents is highlighted by a grey background and bold font instead of a left border; in the changelog the release date is a sub-title under the version name; if present a logo will appear on all pages near the header (cf usethis::use_logo() for using a logo file in your package).

    • Easy customisation of colours and fonts with bslib

    • Thoughtful typography to make the contents as easy as possible to read, regardless of the size of your device.

    • R syntax highlighting and autolinking by downlit is now paired with an accessible colour scheme designed by Alison Hill. (#1536)

    • In-line footnotes mean you can read asides next to the next they refer to.

  • build_articles() again sets the theme argument of the document format to NULL when as_is: true but lets users override this via the theme argument of the output format.

  • Authors configuration is more flexible. Users can now:

    • Choose the roles used for filtering authors for the sidebar and footer.

    • Choose the text before authors in the footer.

    • Add text before and after the authors list in the sidebar.

    • Add text before and after the authors list of the authors page. (#1516)

  • Make authors' non-ORCID comments from DESCRIPTION more usable as bio/description of contributions: add a link to the authors page from the sidebar if any author has a non-ORCID comment, and only render non-ORCID comments on the authors page. (#1516)

  • Better handling for mix of citations with and without text version. Also escapes HTML in the text version (@bastistician, #1507).

  • Make links of 404's navbar absolute (#1524).

  • Make navbar specification more flexible: it is now possible to not include all default components in the navbar structure. (#1517)

  • Make footer specification more flexible: users can now

    • change the placement of elements on the left and right
    • add text to the left and right (or even remove/replace default text) (#1502)
  • pkgdown now recognizes GitLab URLs to the source repository and adds the corresponding icon to the navbar (#1493).

  • External links now get the class "external-link" on top of their usual classes, if they had any. Therefore they can be targeted more easily by CSS rules. (#881, #1491)

  • pkgdown can now use the templates "in-header.html"/"after-head.html", "before-body.html" and "after-body.html" whose content will be placed (similarly to bookdown options in_header, before_body and after_body), respectively, at the end of the <head> tag; right below the opening <body> tag; and before the closing tag </body> (#1487).

  • Links for GitHub Enterprise and GitLab Enterprise repositories are detected by assuming such host address begin with github. or gitlab. (@ijlyttle, #1452).

  • Make sidebar specification more flexible: users can now

    • change the order of sidebar elements

    • add custom sidebar sections (title, text that can be Markdown or HTML)

    • add a table of contents for the README

    • completely suppress the sidebar (even "Dev status")

    • provide their own HTML for the navbar. (#1443, #1488, #1502)

  • Protect the rules drawn by the CLI (as for example, in build_site()) against very narrow terminal windows with small getOption('width')s (@maxheld83, #1435).

  • Google Site Verification can now be configured for pkgdown sites.

  • build_news() recognises more styles of release heading (#1437).

  • Article subtitle, author and date (specified in the YAML frontmatter) are now correctly ommitted from the article table of contents in the sidebar (@maxheld83, #1428).

  • Missing topics makes the build fail when the environment variable CI is set to "true" (@ThierryO, #1378).

  • The default navbar no longer includes a home icon - this took up precious horizontal space and wasn't very useful since there is already a link to the home page immediately to its left (#1383).

  • build_rmarkdown_format internally sets html_document(anchor_sections = FALSE) so to avoid needless dependencies (@atusy, #1426).

  • Automatically link Jira issues by setting your project name(s) with repo: jira_projects: [...] and specifying a custom issue URL with repo: url: issue: ... in _pkgdown.yml (@jonkeane, #1466).

pkgdown 1.6.1

  • The article index (used for autolinking vignettes across packages) once again works (#1401).

pkgdown 1.6.0

Major changes

  • pkgdown now uses the new downlit package for all syntax highlighting and autolinking (in both reference topics and vignettes). There should be very little change in behaviour because the code in downlit was extracted from pkgdown, but this makes it easier to use pkgdown's nice linking/highlighting in more places (#1234).

  • pkgdown now uses the ragg::agg_png() device to generate example figures. This should be a little faster and produce higher quality output. Learn more at (#1320).

Minor improvements and bug fixes

Rd translation

  • \special{} support inside \usage{} added to allow non-standard R usage syntax (@klmr, #1345).

  • #ifdef and #ifndef are now supported; the "current" OS is hard coded to "unix" to ensure reproducible output regardless of where you build the website (#1384).

  • Nested \subsection{}s now generate appropriate heading levels (h3, h4, h5 etc) (#1377), and get anchor links (#1389).

  • \preformatted{} no longer double escapes its contents (#1311).

Articles and vignettes

  • build_articles() no longer sets the theme argument of the document format to NULL when as_is: true. This should allow it to work with a wider range of output formats including bookdown::html_vignette2() and friends (@GegznaV, #955, #1352).

  • When build_article() fails, it gives the complete failure message (#1379).

  • Markdown header attributes are now processed in all markdown files (@jonkeane, #1343)

Auto-linking and syntax highlighting

  • The branch used for source linking can be configured by setting repo: branch: branch_name in _pkgdown.yml (@jonkeane, #1355):

      branch: main
  • autolink_html() is (soft) deprecated. Please use downlit::downlit_html_path() instead.

  • Highlighting of empty expressions works once more (#1310).

  • New deploy$install_metadata option in _pkgdown.yml. Setting it to true will store site metadata in the package itself, allowing offline access for packages that to autolink to the package's website (@mstr3336, #1336).


  • You can now control the background colour of plots with the option (it is transparent by default, and given a white background by css). See ?build_reference for an example.

  • HTML is automatically stripped from the page title (#1318).

  • Suppressing CRAN dates in news file now actually works.

  • All HTTP requests are now retried upon failure (@jameslamb, #1305).

  • Setting clean = TRUE in deploy_site_github() removes old files from the deployed site before building a new one (#1297).

pkgdown 1.5.1

  • Syntax highlighting works on Windows once more (#1282).

  • pkgdown no longer fails if your .Rd files have duplicated \aliases as were produced by an older version of roxygen2 (#1290).

  • Rendering empty .md file now returns empty string (#1285).

  • build_articles_index() is now exported to rapidly rebuild the index (#1281)

  • deploy_site_github() now accepts a host argument to specify alternate hosts (e.g., Github enterprise) (@dimagor, #1165) and once again works as intended on Travis-CI (@jimhester, #1276).

pkgdown 1.5.0

New features

  • The articles index page and navbar have been overhauled. There are two major new features in this release:

    • The articles index page now displays article descriptions, taken from YAML metadata belonging to each article. This lets you provide more context about each article and describe why one might want to read it (#1227).

    • The articles navbar is now also controlled by the articles section in _pkgdown.yml. The ordering of the sections, and articles within them, control the order of the articles in the navbar, and you can use the new navbar field to control whether or not each section appears in the navbar (#1101, #1146).

  • The reference index now has two levels of heading hierarchy: title and subtitle (#327).

  • Tables of contents in sidebars now use bootstrap-toc; this considerably improves navigation for long articles and reference pages.

  • You can now control the links to source files (in reference pages and articles) and issues and users (in the NEWS) with new repo$url config option (#1238). This makes it easier to use pkgdown with GitHub enterprise, packages in subdirectories, and other source hosts (like bitbucket).


    The individual components (e.g. path, issue number, username) are pasted on the end of these urls so they should have trailing /s.

    You don't need to set these links for GitLab, as pkgdown now detects GitLab urls automatically (since they use the same structure as GitHub) (#1045).

  • There's much richer control over Open Graph and Twitter metadata for the whote site and for individual articles. See new vignette("metadata") for details (@gadenbuie, #936).

  • New deploy_to_branch() function to build and deploy a site to a branch, defaulting to gh-pages for use with GitHub Pages. This is used in our recommended GitHub action workflow for automatically building and deploying pkgdown sites for packages on GitHub (@jimhester, #1221).

  • Updated JS libraries: jquery 3.3.1 -> 3.4.1; bootswatch 3.3.7 -> 3.4.0; bootstrap 3.3.7 -> bootstrap 3.4.1; docsearch 2.6.1 -> 2.6.3; fontawesome 5.11.1 -> 5.12.1; headroom.js 0.9.44 -> 0.11.0; clipboard.js 2.0.4 -> 2.0.6 (@jayhesselberth).

Auto-linking improvements

  • Examples and Rmd now use exactly the same syntax highlighting strategy.

  • In examples and Rmd, calls of the form current_package::foo now get a local link (#1262).

  • \preformatted{} blocks are now highlighted and linked if they parse as R code (#1180).

  • library(pkgdown) is now automatically linked to the reference index for "pkgdown" not the documentation for library() (#1161).

  • help("topic") is now automatically linked to the documentation for "topic", not to the documentation for help() (#1210)

Minor improvements and bug fixes


  • build_home() no longer uses (unrendered) README.Rmd or index.Rmd if corresponding .md files are not found.

  • build_article() failures now print more information to help you debug the problem (#952).

  • The name of the vignette mapped to the "Get started" entry in the navbar is now more flexible. You can use an article (e.g articles/{pkgname}) and if your package has a . in its name you can replace it with - to generate a valid article name (e.g. the get started vignette for pack.down would be pack-down) (#1166).


  • deploy_to_branch() now correctly captures the commit SHA on GitHub Actions (@coatless, #1252).

  • deploy_to_branch(github_pages = TRUE) generates a .nojekyll to prevent jekyll ever executing (#1242).

  • CNAME is no longer generated by init_site(), but is instead conditionally by deploy_to_branch() when github_pages = TRUE. This is a better a fit because the CNAME file is only needed by GitHub pages (#969).

  • deploy_site_github() argument repo_slug has been deprecated and is no longer needed or used. (@jimhester, #1221)


See additional details in ?build_news:

  • You can optionally suppress the CRAN release dates added to the news page (#1118).

  • Multi-page news style gets a better yaml specification (the old style will continue to work so no need to change existing YAML).


  • A topic named index will not longer clobber the reference index (#1110).

  • Topic names/aliases on reference index are now escaped (#1216).

  • build_reference() gives better warnings if your _pkgdown.yml is constructed incorrectly (#1025).

  • New has_keyword() topic selector for reference. has_keyword("datasets") is particularly useful for selecting all data documentation (#760).

  • New lacks_concepts() can select topics that do not contain any of a number of specified concepts. (@mikldk, #1232)

Home, authors, and citation

  • pkgdown now escapes html and linkifies links in comments in author info from DESCRIPTION (@maelle, #1204)

  • pkgdown now uses the ORCiD logo included in Font Awesome 5.11 instead of querying it from (@bisaloo, #1153)

  • badges are now extracted from everything between <!--badges: start--> and <!--badges: end-->. They used to be extracted only if they were direct children of the first <p> after <!--badges: start-->.

  • build_home() now looks for pkgdown/ in addition to the top-level index or README files (@nteetor, #1031)


  • pkgdown now formats the package version displayed in the navbar the same way as it has been specified in the DESCRIPTION file. In particular, version separators (e.g. . and -) are preserved. (#1170, @kevinushey)

  • add support for navbar submenus: you can create submenus following the convention established in rstudio/rmarkdown#721 (@ijlyttle, @wendtke, #1213)


  • Updated JS libraries: jquery 3.3.1 -> 3.4.1; bootswatch 3.3.7 -> 3.4.0; bootstrap 3.3.7 -> bootstrap 3.4.1; docsearch 2.6.1 -> 2.6.3 (@jayhesselberth).

  • Markdown conversion now explicitly allows markdown inside of HTML blocks; this was previously accidentally disabled (#1220).

  • A timestamp for the last site build is reported in pkgdown.yml (#1122).

pkgdown 1.4.1

  • Don't install test package in user library (fixes CRAN failure).

pkgdown 1.4.0

New features

  • build citation as specified by the textVersion argument of citEntry in the CITATION file (#1096, @yiluheihei)

  • build_site(), build_reference() and build_home() gain a parameter devel which controls whether you're in deployment or development mode. It generalises and replaces (with deprecation) the existing document argument.

    Development mode is optimised for rapid iteration and is the default for build_reference(). It uses pkgload::load_all() to load code directly from disk in order.

    Deployment mode is slower, but guarantees correct results, and is the default for build_site(). It installs the package into a temporary library, and runs examples/articles in a new process.

  • build_reference() no longer runs devtools::document() (#1079) and build_home() no longer re-builds README.Rmd or index.Rmd. This makes the scope of responsibility of pkgdown more clear: it now only creates/modifies files in doc/.

  • build_home() now strips quotes from Title and Description fields when generating page metadata. Additionally, you can now override the defaults via the title and description fields in the home section of _pkgdown.yml (#957, @maelle).

  • vignette("linking") describes how pkgdown's automatic linking works, and how to ensure that cross-package links point to the right place.

Bug fixes and minor improvements

Rd translation

  • \examples{} rendering has been completely overhauled so it now first converts the entire mixed Rd-R block to R prior, and then evaluates the whole thing. This considerably improves the fidelity of the translation at a small cost of no longer being able to remove \donttest{} and friends (#1087).

  • \item{}s in \describe{} containing whitespace are translated correctly (#1117).

  • \dots and \ldots are translated to ... instead of the ellipsis, since they're often found in code (#1114).

  • \tabular{} translation handles code better (@mitchelloharawild, #978).

  • \subsection{} contents are now treated as paragraphs, not inline text (#991).

  • \preformatted{} blocks preserve important whitespace (#951).

Front end

  • Links to online documentation for functions in code chunks are no longer displayed when printing (#1135, @bisaloo).

  • Updated fontawesome to v5.7.1. fontawesome 5 deprecated the fa prefix. If you have used custom icons in your navbar, you'll should update them from (e.g.) fa fa-home to fas fa-home. Brands now have a separate prefix so fa fa-github becomes fab fa-github (#953).

  • The navbar is now automatically hidden with headroom.js.

  • The sticky behaviour of the navbar is now implemented in pure CSS instead of relying a the 3rd party javascript library (#1016, @bisaloo)

  • Favicons are now automatically built from a package logo (#949).


  • Infix operators (e.g., %in% and %*%) are now linked to their documentation (#1082).

  • Function names can now be included in headers without spurious auto-linking (#948).

  • Links to external documentation now point to (#998).


  • News page recognises more version specifications (including the
    "(development version)" now used by usethis) (#980).

  • Subdirectories are supported for assets (#939, @ijlyttle).

  • A default 404 page (404.html) is built, unless a custom .github/ is provided (#947).

  • build_article() now uses the raw vignette title as page <title> and og:title (@maelle, #1037).

  • build_home() now looks for license files spelled either as LICENSE or LICENCE (#972).

  • build_home() can find badges in paragraph coming after the comment <!-- badges: start --> (#670, @gaborcsardi, @maelle).

  • build_home() will add a community section to the sidebar if there is either a code of conduct (.github/ or a contributing guide (.github/ (#1044, @maelle).

  • build_reference() gains a topics argument which allows you to re-build only specified topics.

  • build_site(new_process = TRUE) gains a timeout, options(pkgdown.timeout = 10), that can be used to prevent stalled builds.

  • deploy_site_github(install = FALSE) makes it possible to opt out of installation.

  • dev_mode() now recognises 0.1.9000 as a development version of a package (this is an emerging standard we use for packages with backward incompatible changes) (#1101).

pkgdown 1.3.0

  • Restore accidentally deleted build_logo() function so that logos are once more copied to the website.

  • Fix to pkgdown.css so page header has correct amount of top margin.

  • content-home.html template is no longer used when the homepage is an .Rmd (Reverts #834. Fixes #927, #929)

  • deploy_site_github() now passes parameters to build_site() (@noamross, #922), and the documentation gives slightly better advice.

  • Correct off-by-one error in navbar highlighting javascript; now no navbar is highlighted if none match the current path (#911).

  • Tweaking of HTML table classes was fixed (@yonicd, #912)

  • Restore accidentally removed docsearch.css file.

pkgdown 1.2.0

New features

  • deploy_site_github() can be used from continuous integration systems (like travis) to automatically deploy your package website to GitHub Pages. See documentation for how to set up details (@jimhester).

  • build_favicon() creates high resolution favicons from the package logo, and saves them in pkgdown/. They are created using the API, and are better suited for modern web usage (e.g. retina display screens, desktop shortcuts, etc.). This also removes the dependency on the magick package, making automated deployment a little easier (@bisaloo, #883).

  • Users with limited internet connectivity can explicitly disable internet usage by pkgdown by setting options(pkgdown.internet = FALSE) (#774, #877).

Improvements to Rd translation

  • rd2html() is now exported to facilitate creation of translation reprexes.

  • \Sexpr{} conversion supports multiple arguments, eliminating x must be a string or a R connection errors when using \doi{} (#738).

  • \tabular{} conversion better handles empty cells (#780).

  • \usage{} now supports qualified functions eliminating
    Error in fun_info(x) : Unknown call: :: errors (#795).

  • Invalid tags now generate more informative errors (@BarkleyBG, #771, #891)

Front end

  • The default footer now displays the version of pkgdown used to build the site (#876).

  • All third party resources are now fetched from a single CDN and are give a SRI hash (@bisaloo, #893).

  • The navbar version now has class "version" so you can more easily control its display (#680).

  • The default css has been tweaked to ensure that icons are visible on all browsers (#852).

Bug fixes and minor improvements

Home page

  • Can now build sites for older packages that don't have a Authors@R field (#727).

  • Remote urls ending in .md are no longer tweaked to end in .html (#763).

  • Bug report link is only shown if there's a "BugReports" field (#855).

  • content-home.html template is now used when the homepage is an .Rmd (@goldingn, #787).

  • A link to the source inst/CITATION was added to the authors page (#714).


  • Uses stricter regular expression when linking to GitHub authors (#902).


  • Unexported functions and test helpers are no longer loaded (#789).

  • Selectors that do not match topics now generate a warning. If none of the specified selectors have a match, no topics are selected (#728).


  • The display depth of vignette tables of contents can be configured by setting toc: depth in _pkgdown.yml (#821):

      depth: 2

Overall site

  • init_site() now creates a CNAME file if one doesn't already exist and the site's metadata includes a url field.

  • build_site() loses vestigal mathjax parameter. This didn't appear to do anything and no one could remember why it existed (#785).

  • build_site() now uses colours even if new_process = TRUE (@jimhester).

pkgdown 1.1.0

New features

  • build_reference() and build_site() get new document argument. When TRUE, the default, will automatically run devtools::document() to ensure that your documentation is up to date.

  • build_site() gains a new_process argument, which defaults to TRUE. This will run pkgdown in a separate process, and is recommended practice because it improves reproducibility (#647).

  • Improved display for icons: icons must be 30px and stored in top-level icons/ directory. They are embedded in a separate column of reference index table, instead of being inside a comment (!) (#607).

Front end

  • Added a keyboard shortcut for searching. Press shift + / (?) to move focus to the search bar (#642).

  • The Algolia logo is correctly shown in the search results (#673).

  • Navbar active tab highlighting uses a superior approach (suggested by @jcheng5) which should mean that the active page is correctly highlighted in all scenarios (#660).

  • pkgdown.js is better isolated so it should still work even if you load html widgets that import a different version of jquery (#655).

Improvements to Rd translation

  • vignette() calls that don't link to existing vignettes silently fail to link instead of generating an uninformative error messages (#652). Automatic linking works for re-exported objects that are not functions (@gaborcsardi, #666).

  • Empty \section{}s are ignored (#656). Previously, empty sections caused error Error in rep(TRUE, length(x) - 1).

  • \Sexpr{} supports results=text, results=Rd and results=hide (#651).

  • \tabular{} no longer requires a terminal \cr (#664, #645).

Minor bug fixes and improvements

  • Add inst/pkgdown.yml as a possible site configuration file so that packages on CRAN can be built without needing the development version (#662).

  • Default navbar template now uses site title, not package name (the package name is the default title, so this will not affect most sites) (#654).

  • You can suppress indexing by search engines by setting noindex: true pkgdown.yml (#686)

        noindex: true
  • build_article() sets IN_PKGDOWN env var so in_pkgdown() works (#650).

  • build_home(): CITATION files with non-UTF-8 encodings (latin1) work correctly, instead of generating an error. For non-UTF-8 locales, ensure you have e.g. Encoding: latin1 in your DESCRIPTION; but best practice is to re-enode your CITATION file to UTF-8 (#689).

  • build_home(): Markdown files (e.g., stored in .github/ are copied and linked correctly (#682).

  • build_news(): Multi-page changelogs (generated from with news: one_page: false in _pkgdown.yml) are rendered correctly.

  • build_reference(): reference index shows infix functions (like %+%) as `%+%`, not `%+%`() on (#659).

pkgdown 1.0.0

  • Major refactoring of path handling. build_ functions no longer take path or depth arguments. Instead, set the destination directory at the top level of pkgdown.yml.

  • Similarly, build_news() no longer takes a one_page argument; this should now be specified in the _pkgdown.yml instead. See the documentation for an example.