This project provides a template for writing a PhD dissertation in R Markdown, and rendering those files into a PDF formatted for submission at the University of the Highlands and Islands . At present it uses a modified version of the thesis template from the University of California, Santa Barbara to convert R Markdown files. This package is a more or less direct copy of gauchodown. Huge thanks to

Complete documentation can be found on

Currently, the PDF and gitbook versions are fully-functional, and are the focus of this package. The word and epub versions are in development, have no templates behind them, and are essentially calls to the appropriate functions in bookdown.


In order to use thesisdownrli it is necessary to have some prerequisites installed, namely Pandoc and LaTeX. Once these are installed you ready to install the package itself.

Installing Pandoc and LaTeX

If RStudio is already installed then so is Pandoc. If you haven’t installed RStudio the most recent version is available here and installing it will install Pandoc. If you are not an RStudio user, Pandoc can downloaded from here.

Having installed Pandoc, the final piece of software required is LaTeX, which is necessary to build PDF documents. By far the easiest way for any R user to install LaTeX on any platform is with the tinytex package:

install.packages(c('tinytex', 'rmarkdown'))
tinytex::install_tinytex(force = TRUE)
# after restarting your R session, confirm that you have LaTeX with 

Installing thesisdownrli

The code below should install all the prerequisites for thesisdownrli. If you are unsure about installing packages yourself the code should be copy and paste.

# check for and install devtools (for install_github) 
# and bookdown
pkgs = c("devtools", "bookdown")
pkgs_needed = pkgs[!(pkgs %in% installed.packages())]
for (pkg in pkgs_needed) {
    install.packages(pkg, dependecies = TRUE)
# install thesisdownrli

You should now have everything you need to start using thesisdownrli.


If you would like to contribute to this project, please start by reading our Guide to Contributing. Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.