A function to set default attributes for columns on a table. The column_defaults function contains a subset of the parameters on the define function that can be shared across variables. Any attributes set by column_defaults can be overridden by the define function. The overall purpose of the function is to minimize redundancy in column definitions.

  vars = NULL,
  from = NULL,
  to = NULL,
  label = NULL,
  format = NULL,
  align = NULL,
  label_align = NULL,
  width = NULL,
  n = NULL



A table spec.


The variable name or names to define defaults for. Variable names may be quoted or unquoted. The parameter will also accept integer column positions instead of names. For multiple variables, pass the names or positions as a vector. If you want to pass an R variable of names, escape the values with double curly braces, i.e. vars = {{myvar}}. The curly brace escape is useful when writing functions that construct reports dynamically.


The variable name or position that starts a column range. If passed as a variable name, it may be quoted or unquoted.


The variable name or position that ends a column range. If passed as a variable name, it may be quoted or unquoted.


The label to use for a column header. This label will be applied to all variables assigned to the column_defaults function.


The format to use for the column data. The format can be a string format, a formatting function, a lookup list, a user-defined format, or a formatting list. All formatting is performed by the fmtr package. For additional information, see the help for that package.


The column alignment. Valid values are "left", "right", "center", and "centre".


How to align the header labels for this column. Valid values are "left", "right", "center", and "centre".


The width of the column in the specified units of measure. The units of measure are specified on the units parameter of the create_report function. If no width is supplied, the write_report function will assign a default width based on the width of the column data and the label. write_report will not set a column width less than the width of the largest word in the data or label. In other words, write_report will not break words.


The n value to place in the "N=" header label. Formatting for the n value will be performed by the formatting function assigned to the n_format parameter on create_table.


The modified table spec.


Column defaults can be specified for multiple variables. By default, the function will apply to all variables. Alternately, you can specify a vector of columns on the vars parameter, or a range of columns using the from and to parameters. Both the vars parameters and the from and to parameters will accept column positions, quoted variable names, or unquoted variable names.

The parameters that can be set with the column_defaults include the formatting attributes 'width', 'justify', 'label', and 'format'. Any parameters set with column_defaults will override any attributes set on the data frame.

Note that you may call the column_defaults function multiple times on the same table specification. Typically, multiple column_defaults calls would be made with a different set or range of variables.

See also


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

# Prepare data
dat <- mtcars[1:10, ]
dat <- data.frame(vehicle = rownames(dat), dat)

# Define table
tbl <- create_table(dat, show_cols = 1:8) %>% 
  column_defaults(from = mpg, to = qsec, width = .5, format = "%.1f") %>% 
  define(vehicle, label = "Vehicle", width = 1.5, align = "left") %>% 
  define(c(cyl, hp), format = "%.0f") 

# Create the report
rpt <- create_report(tmp, orientation = "portrait") %>% 
  titles("Table 2.5", "MTCARS Sample Report") %>% 

# Write the report

# Send report to console for viewing
writeLines(readLines(tmp, encoding = "UTF-8"))

#                                 Table 2.5
#                            MTCARS Sample Report
#    Vehicle               mpg    cyl   disp     hp   drat     wt   qsec
#    -------------------------------------------------------------------
#    Mazda RX4            21.0      6  160.0    110    3.9    2.6   16.5
#    Mazda RX4 Wag        21.0      6  160.0    110    3.9    2.9   17.0
#    Datsun 710           22.8      4  108.0     93    3.8    2.3   18.6
#    Hornet 4 Drive       21.4      6  258.0    110    3.1    3.2   19.4
#    Hornet Sportabout    18.7      8  360.0    175    3.1    3.4   17.0
#    Valiant              18.1      6  225.0    105    2.8    3.5   20.2
#    Duster 360           14.3      8  360.0    245    3.2    3.6   15.8
#    Merc 240D            24.4      4  146.7     62    3.7    3.2   20.0
#    Merc 230             22.8      4  140.8     95    3.9    3.1   22.9
#    Merc 280             19.2      6  167.6    123    3.9    3.4   18.3