[R] Include pre-existing PDF files as vignettes in an R package?

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Mon Feb 19 10:20:50 CET 2018

On 18/02/2018 9:06 PM, Michael Hannon wrote:
> Greetings.  The group that I work with has just started using the approach
> outlined in Karl Broman's handy primer:
>      http://kbroman.org/pkg_primer/pages/vignettes.html
> to create vignettes for a couple of R packages.
> This works fine as long as we have a current Rmd version of the vignette.  But
> we have some old PDF documents that we'd like to include as vignettes as well.
> I'd like to know if there's a way to include such PDF files as vignettes.
> We *do* have the source files for the PDF files in question, but it would be
> tedious to convert those source files to Rmd format.
> My first thought was simply to add the PDF files to the .../vignettes
> subdirectory and run the devtools::build_vignettes() function (mentioned in
> the Broman tutorial), but that doesn't work.  I.e., the PDF files don't appear
> in the list of vignettes for the package.
> And after running devtools::build_vignettes I see that there's a lot of
> additional stuff in:
>      ...lib/R/site-library/<package_name>/...
> so I don't see any obvious way to "fool" R into using the PDF files that
> haven't gone through the whole knitr/rmarkdown process.  (Not to mention that
> such an approach would be fragile at best.)

You don't say what format the source is, but if it is LaTeX, you just 
need to add some comments at the beginning, rename ending in .Rnw, and R 
will recognize plain LaTeX files as Sweave vignettes.

See the Writing R Extensions manual, section 1.4.

Duncan Murdoch

> Suggestions welcome.  Thanks.
> -- Mike
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