Distill is both a framework and an R package.

Distill for R Markdown is a web publishing format optimized for scientific and technical communication.

  • Output format for single documents

  • Websites

  • Blogs, like websites but with blog posts than aren’t re-rendered automatically.

Helpers like distill::create_post()

From Rmd to website

Under the hood

graph LR; A[Rmd] -->|"R ( distill 📦) & Pandoc & Distill framework" | B[HTML]

Inspired by Emi Tanaka’s post

From Rmd to website

What you do

graph LR; A[Rmd] -->|" 🔵 knit button" | B[HTML]

🚋 Time for a demo!

Notes on the course website

Scientific Rmd Blog Checklist

  • R Markdown
  • Syntax highlighting (for all knitr-supported languages)
  • Modern
  • .bib
  • Citation for posts
  • Equations


Created by:

JJ Allaire ), Rich Iannone [aut], Alison Presmanes Hill [aut] (), Yihui Xie [aut] ()

Used for RStudio AI blog, in particular.

Active development.


  • Content stored as html (harder to migrate?)

  • Limited possibilities for customization (blessing in disguise?) but awesome docs about theming!

Further resources

Listed on the course website 📚

Questions, comments?

Write them in the chat!

Time for a break ☕