Introduction to reproducible documents with Quarto

LAVA meeting Nov 29, 2022

Stephan König

Skylight, University of British Columbia


  • Makes content and structure of a document explicit
  • Enables flexible output to many formats
  • Facilitates collaboration and reproducible workflows

Source and Output in a single file

Source and Output in a single file

Source and Output are separate files




Markup is specifically used to label parts of the document for what they are, rather than how they should be processed.

— Wikipedia

The overriding design goal for Markdown’s formatting syntax is to make it as readable as possible. […] To this end, Markdown’s syntax is comprised entirely of punctuation characters, which punctuation characters have been carefully chosen so as to look like what they mean. E.g., asterisks around a word actually look like *emphasis*.

— John Gruber

Your Turn: Markdown


  • Is an open-source command line interface tool for scientific and technical publishing
  • Provides a comprehensive set of feature out of the box
  • Uses as source plain text formats (.qmd, .rmd, .md) or mixed formats (.ipynb/Jupyter notebook)
  • Creates outputs including PDF, Word, HTML reports, books, websites, presentations & more
  • Prevents fragmentation by interleaving of descriptive text, code and its outputs

How Quarto works

Pandoc is a Rosetta Stone

Your Turn: Posit Cloud

Basic structure of Quarto document

title: "Untitled"
format: html

## Quarto

Quarto enables you to weave together content and executable code into
a finished document. To learn more about Quarto see <>.

1 + 1
  • Metadata as YAML
  • Text
  • Code

Your Turn

  • Use as reference:
  • Edit title and add your name as the author
  • Change theme to sketchy
  • Add TOC
  • Create two sections, one with something you learned and your favourite thing
  • Render it with Posit Cloud button