A visual tool for building the UI portion of a Shiny application that generates clean and human-readable code.
The goal of the Shiny Ui Editor is to allow people to build the broad-level UI for their Shiny app without writing code. The editor is intended for those who may not be comfortable with the HTML-style code of Shiny’s UI functions or who simply don’t want to fiddle with sizes to get things laid out correctly.
While in development the package is only available on github:
install.packages("remotes") # Install using the remotes package remotes::install_github("rstudio/shinyuieditor")
🚨 Installation fail? See the Trouble installing section.
There are two main ways to run the UI editor. Using the R packages included
launch_editor() function, or using the VSCode extension.
In any R console, simply run
launch_editor(app_loc = "loc/of/app") and point it to the root of your Shiny app. This will open up a browser window with the UI editor for you.
In VSCode, install the
ShinyUiEditor extension from the marketplace. Once this extension is installed, anytime you open a file with the title ending in
app.R you will see a small icon for running the ui editor in the top right.
Click that icon to start the ui editor.
Alternatively, if you wish to start a new app with the ui editor you can open the command palette and run the command
shinyuieditor.launchEditor (or “Launch ShinyUiEditor”) to choose an app location for editing an existing app or creating a new one from a template.
Found a bug or want to suggest a feature? Use the github issues page: github repo’s issues..
The things most useful for feedback at this stage are:
If the UI is confusing, there’s a tour mode that walks you through the various components of the Ui Editor. Simple click the button titled “Tour App” to enter the tour mode. Also check out the FAQs section (
vignette('faqs')) and the “How To” article (
Because the package uses a remote dependency (
gridlayout) installation can sometimes fail in confusing ways.
> remotes::install_github('rstudio/shinyuieditor') Error: Failed to install 'shinyuieditor' from GitHub: HTTP error 404. Not Found Did you spell the repo owner (`rstudio`) and repo name (`shinyuieditor`) correctly? - If spelling is correct, check that you have the required permissions to access the repo.
You may need to setup your github PAT to access. To set this up run
usethis::create_github_token() in the terminal and follow the prompts.
usethis::create_github_token() no longer puts your PAT in an environment variable, however that’s the method
remotes uses for authentication. You can get around this by using the
withr package to temporarily set the environment variable.
> pak::pkg_install('rstudio/shinyuieditor') Error: subscript out of bounds Type .Last.error.trace to see where the error occurred
This occurs for some reason when trying to reinstall or update the package using
pak. The easiest solution is to either use
remotes (see above), or to uninstall both
gridlayout and then reinstall.
We’re trying hard to constrain the feature set so we have fewer but higher-quality features. Lots of the no-code UI builders expose so many options that, ultimately, they’re more complex to use than just writing the code by hand. By generating code for the user, we’re letting them flesh out those details by hand on top of a solid foundation instead of forcing them to do it in a (probably sub-optimal) visual paradigm.
Complexity is anything related to the structure of a system that makes it hard to understand and modify that system
- A Philosophy of Software Design, John Ousterhout