Markdown Reference Manuals

The native R functionalities only allow PDF exports of reference manuals. This shall be extended by converting the package documentation files into markdown files and combining them into a markdown version of the package reference manual.


To install the Rd2md package, you can either use the official CRAN repository or install directly from github.

From CRAN:


From Github:

## if not already installed:
# install.packages("devtools") 

Reference Manual To PDF

The Reference Manual of a package exported as PDF is an R command shipped with R.

R CMD Rd2pdf

However, pdf versions are quite static and nothing can really be done with it.

The single .Rd files are well structured and can easily parsed to .md files. Thanks to jbryer to publish the relevant code.

This fact is used to replicate a Reference Manual in markdown format.

Reference Manual To Markdown

There main function to create the reference manual in markdown format is

ReferenceManual(pkg, outdir = getwd(), verbose=FALSE)

For the pkg_ variable, provide the full file path of the source code of the package.

Be aware that this uses source code only. This means, it will look into the man directory of your package source and take all .Rd files into considerations.


Rd2md v0.0.2 (Release date: 2017-05-19)


  • Bugfixes

Rd2md v0.0.1 (Release date: 2017-05-19)


  • Initial upload to CRAN

Reference manual

It appears you don't have a PDF plugin for this browser. You can click here to download the reference manual.


0.0.2 by Julian Busch, 2 years ago

Browse source code at

Authors: Julian Busch [aut, cre]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

GPL license

Imports knitr, tools

Suggests testthat, rmarkdown, devtools

See at CRAN