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While the info_tabular() and info_columns() functions allow us to add/modify info text for specific sections, the info_section() makes it possible to add sections of our own choosing and the information that make sense for those sections. Define a section_name and provide a series of named arguments (in the form entry_name = "The *info text*.") to build the informational content for that section.


info_section(x, section_name, ...)



The pointblank informant object

obj:<ptblank_informant> // required

A pointblank informant object that is commonly created through the use of the create_informant() function.


The section name

scalar<character> // required

The name of the section for which this information pertains.


Information entries

<info-text expressions> // required

Information entries as a series of named arguments. The names refer to subsection titles within the section defined as section_name and the RHS is the info text (informational text that can be written as Markdown and further styled with Text Tricks).


A ptblank_informant object.

Info Text

The info text that's used for any of the info_*() functions readily accepts Markdown formatting, and, there are a few Text Tricks that can be used to spice up the presentation. Markdown links written as < link url > or [ link text ]( link url ) will get nicely-styled links. Any dates expressed in the ISO-8601 standard with parentheses, "(2004-12-01)", will be styled with a font variation (monospaced) and underlined in purple. Spans of text can be converted to label-style text by using: (1) double parentheses around text for a rectangular border as in ((label text)), or (2) triple parentheses around text for a rounded-rectangular border like (((label text))).

CSS style rules can be applied to spans of info text with the following form:

[[ info text ]]<< CSS style rules >>

As an example of this in practice suppose you'd like to change the color of some text to red and make the font appear somewhat thinner. A variation on the following might be used:

"This is a [[factor]]<<color: red; font-weight: 300;>> value."

The are quite a few CSS style rules that can be used to great effect. Here are a few you might like:

  • color: <a color value>; (text color)

  • background-color: <a color value>; (the text's background color)

  • text-decoration: (overline | line-through | underline);

  • text-transform: (uppercase | lowercase | capitalize);

  • letter-spacing: <a +/- length value>;

  • word-spacing: <a +/- length value>;

  • font-style: (normal | italic | oblique);

  • font-weight: (normal | bold | 100-900);

  • font-variant: (normal | bold | 100-900);

  • border: <a color value> <a length value> (solid | dashed | dotted);

In the above examples, 'length value' refers to a CSS length which can be expressed in different units of measure (e.g., 12px, 1em, etc.). Some lengths can be expressed as positive or negative values (e.g., for letter-spacing). Color values can be expressed in a few ways, the most common being in the form of hexadecimal color values or as CSS color names.


A pointblank informant can be written to YAML with yaml_write() and the resulting YAML can be used to regenerate an informant (with yaml_read_informant()) or perform the 'incorporate' action using the target table (via yaml_informant_incorporate()). Extra sections (i.e., neither the table nor the columns sections) can be generated and filled with info text by using one or more calls of info_section(). This is how it is expressed in both R code and in the YAML representation.

# R statement
informant %>% 
    section_name = "History",
    Changes = "
- Change 1
- Change 2
- Change 3",
    `Last Update` = "(2020-10-23) at 3:28 PM."
  ) %>%
    section_name = "Additional Notes",
    `Notes 1` = "Notes with a {snippet}.",
    `Notes 2` = "**Bold notes**."

# YAML representation
  Changes: |2-
    - Change 1
    - Change 2
    - Change 3
  Last Update: (2020-10-23) at 3:28 PM.
Additional Notes:
  Notes 1: Notes with a {snippet}.
  Notes 2: '**Bold notes**.'

Subsections represented as column names are automatically generated when creating an informant. Within each of the top-level sections (i.e., History and Additional Notes) there can be multiple subsections used for holding info text.

It's safest to use single quotation marks around any info text if directly editing it in a YAML file. Note that Markdown formatting and info snippet placeholders (shown here as {snippet}, see info_snippet() for more information) are preserved in the YAML. The Markdown to HTML conversion is done when printing an informant (or invoking get_informant_report() on an informant) and the processing of snippets (generation and insertion) is done when using the incorporate() function. Thus, the source text is always maintained in the YAML representation and is never written in processed form.


Create a pointblank informant object with create_informant(). We can specify a tbl with the ~ followed by a statement that gets the small_table dataset.

informant <- 
    tbl = ~ small_table,
    tbl_name = "small_table",
    label = "An example."

An informant typically has the 'Table' and 'Columns' sections. We can also create entirely different sections (that follow these) with their own properties using the info_section() function. Let's create a subsection in the report called "Notes" and add text to two parts of that: "creation" and "usage".

informant <-
  informant %>%
    section_name = "Notes",
    creation = "Dataset generated on (2020-01-15).",
    usage = "`small_table %>% dplyr::glimpse()`"
  ) %>%

Upon printing the informant object, we see the addition of the 'Notes' section and its own information.


This image was generated from the first code example in the `info_section()` help file.

Function ID


See also