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When an informant object is created with the create_informant() function, it has two starter sections: (1) 'table' and (2) 'columns'. The 'table' section should contain a few properties upon creation, such as the supplied table name (name) and table dimensions (as _columns and _rows). We can add more table-based properties with the info_tabular() function. By providing a series of named arguments (in the form entry_name = "The *info text*."), we can add more information that makes sense for describing the table as a whole.


info_tabular(x, ...)



The pointblank informant object

obj:<ptblank_informant> // required

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


Information entries

<info-text expressions> // required

Information entries as a series of named arguments. The names refer to subsection titles within the TABLE section and the values are 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()). When info_tabular() is represented in YAML, info text goes into subsections of the top-level table key. Here is an example of how a call of info_tabular() is expressed in R code and in the corresponding YAML representation.

R statement:

informant %>% 
    section_1 = "*info text* 1.",
    `section 2` = "*info text* 2 and {snippet_1}"

YAML representation:

  _columns: 23
  _rows: 205.0
  _type: tbl_df
  section_1: '*info text* 1.'
  section 2: '*info text* 2 and {snippet_1}'

Subsection titles as defined in info_tabular() can be set in backticks if they are not syntactically correct as an argument name without them (e.g., when using spaces, hyphens, etc.).

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_1}, 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."

We can add info text to describe the table with the various info_*() functions. In this example, we'll use info_tabular() to generally describe the small_table dataset.

informant <-
  informant %>%
    `Row Definition` = "A row has randomized values.",
    Source = c(
      "- From the **pointblank** package.",
      "- []()"

Upon printing the informant object, we see the additions made to the 'Table' section of the report.


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

Function ID


See also