The reporter package creates regulatory-style statistical reports. It was designed to produce Tables, Listings, and Figures (TLFs) for the the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-device industries. However, the functions are generalized enough to provide statistical reporting for any industry. The package is written in Base R, and has no dependencies on any other reporting package.

The package is intended to give R programmers flexible report layout capabilities and a choice of output formats. The package will initially focus on printable, file-based output formats, as there are already numerous R packages that provide tabular reporting in HTML. The current version supports TXT, RTF, and PDF output types.

The reporter package is distributed under a Creative Commons non-commercial license. It is available for personal and organizational use, but cannot be used to create a commercial product without permission of the license holder.

Key Features

The reporter package contains the following key features:

  • Titles, footnotes, page header, and page footer are repeated on each page
  • Supports header labels and spanning headers
  • Calculates default columns widths automatically
  • Includes automatic wrapping and splitting of wide and long tables
  • Integrates with the fmtr package to format numeric, date, and character data
  • Plots from the popular ggplot2 package can be added to RTF and PDF reports
  • Allows appending multiple tables to a report, multiple tables to a page, and intermingling of text, tables, and plots
  • Supports in-report date/time stamps and “Page X of Y” page numbering

How to use reporter

There are four steps to creating a report:

  • Create report content
  • Create report
  • Add content to the report
  • Write out the report

You can create the report with the create_report() function. Content is created with the create_table(), create_text(), or create_plot() functions. Add content to the report with the add_content() function. Finally, the report can be written to a file with the write_report() function.

Let’s look at a simple example:

library(reporter)
library(magrittr)

# Create temp file name 
tmp <- file.path(tempdir(), "example.txt")

# Create report content
tbl <- create_table(mtcars) %>% 
  titles("MTCARS Sample Data") %>% 
  footnotes("* Motor Trend, 1974")

# Create report and add content  
rpt <- create_report(tmp) %>% 
  add_content(tbl)
  
# Write out the report
write_report(rpt)
# # A report specification: 1 pages
# - file_path: 'C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Temp\RtmpeC1s5u/example.txt'
# - output_type: TXT
# - units: inches
# - orientation: landscape
# - margins: top 0.5 bottom 0.5 left 1 right 1
# - line size/count: 108/45
# - content: 
# # A table specification:
# - data: data.frame 'mtcars[1:10, ]' 10 rows 11 cols
# - show_cols: all
# - use_attributes: all
# - title 1: 'MTCARS Sample Data'
# - footnote 1: '* Motor Trend, 1974'

writeLines(readLines(tmp, encoding = "UTF-8"))
#                        MTCARS Sample Data
# 
#          mpg cyl  disp  hp drat    wt  qsec vs am gear carb
#         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
#           21   6   160 110  3.9  2.62 16.46  0  1    4    4
#           21   6   160 110  3.9 2.875 17.02  0  1    4    4
#         22.8   4   108  93 3.85  2.32 18.61  1  1    4    1
#         21.4   6   258 110 3.08 3.215 19.44  1  0    3    1
#         18.7   8   360 175 3.15  3.44 17.02  0  0    3    2
#         18.1   6   225 105 2.76  3.46 20.22  1  0    3    1
#         14.3   8   360 245 3.21  3.57 15.84  0  0    3    4
#         24.4   4 146.7  62 3.69  3.19    20  1  0    4    2
#         22.8   4 140.8  95 3.92  3.15  22.9  1  0    4    2
#         19.2   6 167.6 123 3.92  3.44  18.3  1  0    4    4
# 
#         * Motor Trend, 1974

As you can see, using the reporter package, you can create a useful report with just a few lines of code. By default, the package creates a text report. But you can create reports in RTF and PDF with just a single parameter change.

In addition to the functions shown above, there are additional functions to create page headers and footers, spanning headers, a report stub, a by-variable, and more. The package also allows you to add text and plots to a report. All of these capabilities are demonstrated in the examples below.

Next Steps

For next steps, it is recommended that you review some examples of the reporter package in action. The examples show a variety of common use cases. You will see that the reporter functions are very intuitive and easy to use. Here is a list of examples: