Build dashboard-style layouts for Shiny and RMarkdown easily using CSS-Grid.

Installation

You can install the development version from GitHub with:

# install.packages("devtools")
devtools::install_github("rstudio/gridlayout")

Setting up your gridlayout

The easiest and most common way to specify a grid layout is using an character vector syntax where the elements in your layout are visually lined up making the general gist of the layout clear at a glance.

library(gridlayout)

my_layout <- new_gridlayout(c(
  "      120px   1fr    1fr   ",
  "100px header  header header",
  "1fr   sidebar plot_a plot_c",
  "1fr   sidebar plot_b plot_b"
))

my_layout
#> gridlayout of 5 elements: 
#>         120px   1fr    1fr   
#>   100px header  header header
#>   1fr   sidebar plot_a plot_c
#>   1fr   sidebar plot_b plot_b
#> Gap of 12px. Total height of viewport.
#> 
#> Alternate layouts:  
#>   
#>   - Width < 500px 
#>            1fr    
#>     85px  header 
#>     350px sidebar
#>     350px plot_a 
#>     350px plot_b 
#>     350px plot_c 
#>   Gap of 12px. Total height of auto.

For more info and alternative ways of defining a layout see vignette("defining-a-layout", package = "gridlayout").

Using in a shiny app

Once you’ve setup your layout, the easiest way you can use it in your shiny apps is with the grid_page() ui function:

library(shiny)

# The classic Geyser app with grid layout
shinyApp(
  ui = grid_page(
    layout = c(
      "     200px   1fr   ",
      "85px header  header",
      "1fr  sidebar plot  "
    ),
    grid_card_text("header", "Geysers!", is_title = TRUE),
    grid_card(
      "sidebar",
      title = "Settings",
      sliderInput("bins","Number of bins:", 
                  min = 1, max = 50, value = 30, width = "100%")
    ),
    grid_card(
      "plot",
      plotOutput("distPlot", height="100%")
    )
  ),
  server = function(input, output) {
    output$distPlot <- renderPlot({
      x    <- faithful[, 2]
      bins <- seq(min(x), max(x), length.out = input$bins + 1)
      hist(x, breaks = bins, col = 'darkgray', border = 'white')
    })
  }
)

Screenshot of grided geyser app running

Other ways of using gridlayout in your app

grid_page() will automatically make your gridlayout fill the entire page. If you are interested in having a finer-grain control over the size and position of your grid layout you can use the grid_container() function to place your grid layout wherever you want. The equivalent app to above can be created by replacing the UI definition with a fluidPage containing a grid_container():

...
shinyApp(
  ui = fluidPage(
    grid_container(
      layout = c(
        "     200px   1fr   ",
        "85px header  header",
        "1fr  sidebar plot  "
      ),
      grid_card_text("header", "Geysers!"),
      grid_card(
        "sidebar",
        title = "Settings",
        sliderInput("bins", "Number of bins:", 
                    min = 1, max = 50, value = 30, width = "100%")
      ),
      grid_card(
        "plot",
        plotOutput("distPlot", height="100%")
      )
    )
  ),
  server = ...
)

This time, however the grid is constrained to 800px tall, no-matter how large or small the window viewing it is.

Alternatively you can use grid_nested() to use a gridlayout layout within a panel another gridlayout.

...
shinyApp(
  ui = grid_page(
  layout = c(
    "     250px   1fr   ",
    "50px header  header",
    "1fr  sidebar plots "
  ),
  grid_card_text("header", "This is my header"),
  grid_card(
    "sidebar",
    title = "Settings",
    sliderInput("bins", "Number of bins:", min = 1, max = 50, value = 30, width = "100%")
  ),
  grid_nested(
    "plots",
    title = "Plots - in technicolor",
    layout = c(
      "distPlot distPlot distPlot",
      "redPlot  bluePlot greenPlot"
    ),
    grid_card_plot("distPlot"),
    grid_card_plot("redPlot"),
    grid_card_plot("bluePlot"),
    grid_card_plot("greenPlot")
  ),
  server = ...
)

Using in RMarkdown

The function use_gridlayout_rmd() called in the setup chunk of an RMarkdown file will enable you to use gridlayout to layout your document. Just match the section headers to the layout element names and place layout md table in a gridlayout chunk…

my_app.rmd

---
title: "`gridlayout` in Rmarkdown"
author: "Nick Strayer"
date: "3/9/2021"
output: html_document
---



## Main


```gridlayout
|      |        |         |
|------|--------|---------|
|2rem  |200px   |1fr      |
|150px |header  |header   |
|1fr   |sidebar |main     |
|120px |footer  |footer   |
```


## Sidebar

Here is some content for the sidebar

## Footer

Anything you want could go in the footer.

Output of my_app.rmd