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R htmlwidget for materialize framework
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materializeR | materialize for R

materialize implements Google's Material Design in a CSS/JS/HTML framework. It is built by a talented team of Carnegie Mellon Students and has amassed > 8,000 stars in less than half a year. Although I have been watching it closely since its release, Alex Bresler deserves the credit for motivating me to assemble this little htmlwidget.

Not a normal htmlwidget

Since materialize is a very full-featured and complete framework, the traditional full wrapping of an htmlwidget is nearly impossible. This htmlwidget seeks to provide a thin convenience layer primarily aimed to ease dependency injection for the required Javascript and CSS. What this means is that you will need to know some HTML/JS/CSS or copy/paste well to make it work. Also, htmltools and/or Shiny are/is a highly recommended companion to materializeR.

Install and use

materializeR is not on CRAN, so install with devtools::install_github.


There is just one function materialize to make it work. When you type it, you might be disappointed, but behind that blank screen is a world of potential backed by all the power of materialize and jquery. Of course, also remember htmlwidgets are pretty smart about conflict resolution, so this should only enhance your experience.

screenshot of materializeR

At this point the documentation for materialize will most likely be far more helpful than anything I put together. However, here a couple quick examples to demonstrate the translation and illustrate different techniques to incorporate materializeR. I will try to make these very R specific uses of the materialize examples.

Simple grid

It seems that a minimum requirement for a front-end framework is a grid. We'll prove that we can do it in materializeR. In this example, I'll just copy and paste the example markup and supply it to a tagList from htmltools that also contains the command materialize().


    <div class="row" style = "font-weight: 200;line-height: 50px; text-align:center;">
      <div class="col s12" style = "background-color:tomato;margin:7px 0;border: 1px solid #eee;">
        <span class="flow-text">This div is 12-columns wide</span>
      <div class="col s6" style = "background-color:tomato;margin:7px 0;border: 1px solid #eee;">
        <span class="flow-text">This div is 6-columns wide</span>
      <div class="col s6" style = "background-color:tomato;margin:7px 0;border: 1px solid #eee;">
        <span class="flow-text">This div is 6-columns wide</span>
  ,materialize() # can be anywhere; doesn't have to be first

Card with R plot and code

For this one, we'll use tags from htmltools. tags sort-of self-check themselves. This is handy when we are trying to make HTML in R.


# make a graph and save as png
tf <- tempfile()
png( file = tf, height = 600, width = 1400 )

  materialize() # can be anywhere; doesn't have to be first
  ,tags$div(class = "card"
    ,tags$div(class = "card-image waves-effect waves-block waves-light"
      ,tags$img(class = "activator"
        ,src = paste0("data:image/png;base64,",base64enc::base64encode(tf))
    ,tags$div(class = "card-content"
      ,tags$span(class="card-title activator grey-text text-darken-4"
        ,"R plot from base graphics"
        ,tags$i( class="mdi-navigation-more-vert right" )
    ,tags$div(class = "card-reveal"
      ,tags$span(class="card-title grey-text text-darken-4"
        ,"Code to Generate the Plot"
        ,tags$i(class="mdi-navigation-close right")
      ,tags$p(tags$pre( "filled.contour(volcano)" ) )


Since I'm almost directly copying the example from materialize, I'll go back to the bare HTML for this example using tabs.


  materialize() # can be anywhere; I like to put first so I don't forget
     <div class="row">
        <div class="col s12">
          <ul class="tabs">
            <li class="tab col s3"><a href="#test1">Base Graphics</a></li>
            <li class="tab col s3"><a class="active" href="#test2">lattice</a></li>
            <li class="tab col s3"><a href="#test3">ggplot2</a></li>
        <div id="test1" class="col s12">even base R graphics are powerful.</div>
        <div id="test2" class="col s12">lattice does amazing plots with little code.</div>
        <div id="test3" class="col s12">ggplot2 makes non-R envious.</div>

Thanks to the materialize team

Thanks so much to the generous and talented team behind materialize.

  • Alvin Wang
  • Alan Chang
  • Alex Mark
  • Kevin Louie
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