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reprex (development version)

When the clipboard isn't available

We've made reprex more pleasant to use in settings where we cannot access the user's clipboard from R. Specifically, this applies to use on RStudio Server and RStudio Cloud.

  • When reprex() is called without expr or input, in a context where the user's clipboard can't be reached from R, the default is now to consult the current selection for reprex source. Previously this was only available via the reprex_selection() addin. Note that this "current selection" default behaviour propagates to convenience wrappers around reprex(), such as reprex_locale() and venue-specific functions like reprex_r(), and to the un-reprex() functions, such as reprex_clean().
  • In this context, the file containing the (un)rendered reprex is opened so the user can manually copy its contents.


wd is a new argument to set the reprex working directory. As a result, the outfile argument is deprecated and the input argument has new significance. Here's how to use input and wd to control reprex filepaths:

  • To reprex in the current working directory,
    Previously: reprex(outfile = NA)
    Now: reprex(wd = ".")
    More generally, usage looks like reprex(wd = "path/to/desired/wd").
  • If you care about reprex filename (and location), write your source to path/to/stuff.R and call reprex(input = "path/to/stuff.R"). When input is a filepath, that filepath determines the working directory and how reprex files are named and wd is never even consulted.

Various changes mean that more users will see reprex filepaths. Therefore, we've revised them to be more self-explanatory and human-friendly. When reprex needs to invent a file name, it is now based on a random "adjective-animal" slug. Bring on the angry-hamster!


reprex() renders the reprex in a separate, fresh R session using callr:r(). As of callr 3.4.0 (released 2019-12-09), the default became callr::r(..., user_profile = "project"), which means that callr executes a .Rprofile found in current working directory. Most reprexes happen in a temp directory and there will be no such .Rprofile. But if the user intentionally reprexes in an existing project with a .Rprofile, callr::r() and therefore reprex() honor it. In this version of reprex:

  • We explicitly make sure that the working directory of the callr::r() call is the same as the effective working directory of the reprex.
  • We alert the user that a local .Rprofile has been found.
  • We indicate the usage of a local .Rprofile in the rendered reprex.

These changes are of special interest to users of the renv package, which uses .Rprofile to implement a project-specific R package library. Combined with the filepath changes (described above), this means an renv user can call reprex(wd = "."), to render a reprex with respect to a project-specific library.


HTML preview should work better with more ways of using reprex_render(), i.e. usage that doesn't come via a call to reprex() (#293).

Dependency changes

  • rstudioapi moves from Suggests to Imports. Related to improving the experience when reprex cannot access the user's clipboard.

  • mockr is new in Suggests; it's used in the tests.

  • We bumped the documented minimum version of Pandoc, because we use the gfm markdown variant to get GitHub-Flavored Markdown. The gfm variant was introduced in Pandoc 2.0 (released 2017-10-29).

reprex 1.0.0


  • reprex_VENUE(...) is a new way to call reprex(..., venue = "VENUE"). For example, reprex_r() is equivalent to reprex(venue = "r"). This makes non-default venues easier to access via auto-completion (#256).

  • "slack" is a new venue that tweaks the default Markdown output for pasting into Slack messages. It removes the r language identifier from the opening code fence, simplifies image links and, by default, suppresses the ad. Note that venue = "slack" or reprex_slack() work best for people who opt-out of the WYSIWYG message editor: in Preferences > Advanced, select "Format messages with markup".

  • venue = "so" (SO = Stack Overflow) has converged with default venue = "gh" (GitHub). As of January 2019, SO supports CommonMark fenced code blocks. The only remaining difference is that Stack Overflow does not support the collapsible details tag that we use on GitHub to reduce the clutter from, e.g., session info (#231).

  • "rtf" (Rich Text Format) is a new experimental venue for pasting into applications like PowerPoint and Keynote. It is experimental because it requires a working installation of the highlight command line tool, which is left as a somewhat fiddly exercise for the user (#331). venue = "rtf" is documented in its own article.

  • reprex.current_venue is a new read-only option that is set during reprex_render(). Other packages can use it to generate reprex()-compatible, venue-aware output, such as an renv lockfile.

Implementation and internals

  • reprex() has been internally refactored to make better use of the official machinery for extending rmarkdown:

    • reprex_document() is a new R Markdown output format.
    • reprex_render() is a newly exported function.
    • A reprex_document() is designed to be rendered with reprex_render(). reprex_render() is designed to act on a reprex_document(). This is (still) the heart of what the reprex() function does, in addition to various interface and workflow niceties.
    • Two R Markdown templates ship with the package, which an RStudio user can access via File > New File > R Markdown ... > From Template. One is minimal; the other uses lots of reprex features. Both include knit: reprex::reprex_render in the YAML, which causes the RStudio "Knit" button to use reprex_render().
  • prex(), prex_VENUE(), and prex_render() are new unexported functions that, like reprex(), render a small bit of code, but with much less reproducibility! The code is evaluated in the global workspace of the current process, with the current working directory. This pragmatic hack is useful when preparing a series of related snippets, e.g., for a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation, and there's not enough space to make each one self-contained.

  • UTF-8 encoding: Following the lead of knitr, reprex makes explicit use of UTF-8 internally (#237 @krlmlr, #261).

  • When the reprex causes R to crash, reprex(std_out_err = TRUE) is able to provide more information about the crash, in some cases (#312).

Other changes and improvements

  • The tidyverse_quiet argument and reprex.tidyverse_quiet option also control startup messages from the tidymodels meta-package (#326, @juliasilge).

  • reprex_locale() is a new thin wrapper around reprex() that renders in a temporarily-altered locale (#250).

  • The si argument of reprex() is now session_info. Being explicit seems more important than saving characters, given auto-completion.

  • The show argument of reprex() is now html_preview, for the sake of consistency with other R Markdown output formats.

  • New article on techniques for making package startup quieter (#187, @marionlouveaux).

Dependency changes

R 3.1 and R 3.2 are no longer explicitly supported or tested. Our general practice is to support the current release (4.0, at time of writing), devel, and the 4 previous versions of R (3.6, 3.5, 3.4, 3.3).

  • sessioninfo is new in Suggests, replacing devtools.

  • glue is new in Imports, replacing whisker.

  • knitr moves from Suggests to Imports (although it was already a hard dependency via rmarkdown), so we can require v1.23 or higher, which represents a major switch to UTF-8.

  • cli is new in Imports.

  • reprex now relies on testthat >= 3.0.0 and, specifically, uses third edition features.

reprex 0.3.0

  • The crayon.enabled option is explicitly set to FALSE when rendering the reprex (#238, #239).

  • Expression input is once again captured via substitute() (as opposed to rlang::enexpr()), which is more favorable for reprexes involving tidy eval (#241).

  • New venue "html" to render HTML fragments, useful for pasting in sites without markdown but that allow HTML (#236 @cwickham).

  • The YAML of reprex's template has been updated in light of the stricter YAML parser used in Pandoc >= 2.2.2.

  • rlang::set_attrs() has been soft-deprecated and is no longer used internally.

reprex 0.2.1

  • The reprex ad is formatted as superscript for venue = "gh" and venue = "so", i.e. it is more subtle (#201).

  • New experimental venue "rtf" produces syntax highlighted snippets suitable for pasting into presentation software such as Keynote or PowerPoint. This venue is discussed in an article (#26).

  • Arguments opts_chunk and opts_knit have been removed from reprex(). The same effect has always been achievable via roxygen comments in the reprex code and the examples have always demonstrated this. Overriding knitr options doesn't seem to come up often enough in real-world reprex() usage to justify these arguments.

  • Internal file system operations use the fs package. This should not make any user-facing changes in reprex and we definitely want to know if it does.

reprex 0.2.0

reprex has a website: It includes a contributed article from @njtierney (#103).

reprex has moved to the tidyverse Organization. It is installed as part of the tidyverse meta-package and is suggested to those seeking help.

reprex() gains several arguments and many arguments can now be controlled via an option, in case a user wants their own defaults.

The new reprex_selection() add-in reprexes the current selection, with venue controlled by the option reprex.venue. It can be handy to bind to a keyboard shortcut (#84 @hadley).

If reprex can't write to the user's clipboard (e.g. on RStudio server or Unix-like systems lacking xclip or xsel), it offers to open the output file for manual copy.

Option-controlled arguments for custom defaults

These look like reprex(..., arg = opt(DEFAULT), ...) in the help file. This is shorthand for arg = getOption("reprex.arg", DEFAULT), i.e. the option reprex.arg is consulted and, if unset, the documented default is used. Allows user to define their own default behaviour (#116).

New arguments to reprex():

  • advertise: toggles inclusion of a footer that describes when and how the reprex was created, e.g., "Created on 2017-11-16 by the reprex package (v0.1.1.9000)". Defaults to TRUE (#121, #69).
  • style: requests code restyling via the newly-Suggested styler package. styler can cope with tidyeval syntactical sugar, e.g. df %>% group_by(!! group_var). Defaults to FALSE (#108, #94).
  • tidyverse_quiet: affords control of the startup message of the tidyverse meta-package. Defaults to TRUE, i.e. suppresses the message (important special case of #70, #100).
  • std_out_err: appends output sent to stdout and stderr by the reprex rendering process. This can be necessary to reveal output if the reprex spawns child processes or has system() calls. Defaults to FALSE (#90, #110).
  • render: determines if the reprex is actually rendered or just returns after producing the templated .R file. For internal testing.


  • Line wrapping is preserved from source via a Pandoc option (#145 @jimhester, #175).

  • venue = "gh" now targets CommonMark as the standard for GitHub Flavored Markdown (#77).

  • venue = "so" has appropriate whitespace at the start.

  • venue = "ds" is a new value, corresponding to, which is the platform behind This is currently just an alias for the default "gh" GitHub venue, because the formatting appears to be compatible. Adding the "ds" value so Discourse can be documented and to guard against the possibility that some formatting is actually unique.

Other changes

  • The keep.source option is set to TRUE when rendering the reprex, so reprexes involving srcrefs should work (#152).

  • The "undo" functions (reprex_invert(), reprex_clean(), reprex_rescue()) handle input and outfile like reprex() does. The outfile argument is new (#129, #68).

  • The default value for knitr's is now set according to the venue. It is knitr::imgur_upload() for all venues except "r", where it is identity (#125).

  • The HTML preview should appear in the RStudio Viewer more consistently, especially on Windows (#75 @yutannihilation).

  • More rigorous use of UTF-8 encoding (#76 @yutannihilation).

  • Expression input handling has been refactored. As a result, formatR is no longer Suggested. Trailing comments -- inline and on their own line -- are also now retained (#89, #91, #114, @jennybc and @jimhester).

  • Custom prompts are now escaped when used in regexes (#98, #99 @jimhester). Embedded newlines are now escaped.

reprex 0.1.2

This was a non-functioning release created by CRAN maintainers by commenting out lines of code relating to the clipboard.

reprex 0.1.1

  • Pandoc added to SystemRequirements.

reprex 0.1.0

  • outfile = NA causes outfiles to be left in working directory. Filenames will be based on the input file, if there was one.

  • reprex() strips any leading prompts from input code.

  • Added functions reprex_clean(), reprex_invert(), and reprex_rescue() in order to go backwards, i.e. recover source from a wild-caught reprex.

  • venue = "R" (or "r") can be used to get an R script back, augmented with commented output.

  • comment argument added to specify prefix for commented output.

  • Added an RStudio addin, accessed via "Render reprex".

  • input argument to reprex() and friends handles code as string, character vector, or file path.

  • The reprex is rendered via callr::r_safe() and is thus run in a clean, separate R process, eliminating any leakage of objects or loaded packages to/from the calling session.

  • reprex() gains optional arguments opts_chunk and opts_knit, taking named list as input, in order to supplement or override default knitr chunk and package options, respectively. (#33)

    • This made the explicit argument unnecessary, so it's gone. The option defaults to knitr::imgur_upload, which means figures produced by the reprex will be uploaded to and the associated image syntax will be put into the Markdown, e.g. ![]( (#15 @paternogbc)
  • Order of reprex() arguments has changed.

  • reprex() gains the si argument to request that devtools::session_info() or sessionInfo() be appended to reprex code (#6 @dgrtwo). When si = TRUE and venue = "gh" (the default), session info is wrapped in a collapsible details tag. See an example (#55).

  • Reprex code can be provided as an R expression. (#6 @dgrtwo, #35)

  • reprex() uses clipboard functionality from clipr and thus should work on Windows and suitably prepared Unix-like systems, in addition to Mac OS. (#16 @mdlincoln)


  • I tweeted about this and some people actually used it!