Better Progressive xaringan Slides with CSS and :last-of-type

R Markdown Source

Here’s a quick tip for making your xaringan slides shine with a little CSS. Specifically, I’m going to show you how to use the :last-of-type pseudo-class to highlight the current bullet in progressive slides. We can also use the :last-of-type selector to show only the output of the last R chunk in a slide full of many R chunks. In each case, these techniques work best for progressive slides, or slides with content that builds up slowly.

In this post, I’ll demonstrate how :last-of-type can be used to highlight the last list item, bold the last list item, or reveal only the last R code chunk output.

Progressive List Slides

To create progressive slides in xaringan, use two dashes --, all alone on their own line, to indicate a pause in the current slide.

---
class: highlight-last-item

# Best Brownies, Ingredients

- 1 cup milk chocolate chips

--

- 2 large eggs

--

- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

xaringan actually creates new slides for each pause, where each slide shows the content up to the pause. So the markdown below creates three slides, the first having one bullet point, the second having two bullet points, and the third having the full list.

When rendered, three slides are created and the final slide contains the following HTML.

<div class="remark-slide-content highlight-last-item">
  <h1 id="best-brownies-ingredients">Best Brownies, Ingredients</h1>
  <ul>
    <li><p>1 cup milk chocolate chips</p></li>
    <li><p>2 large eggs</p></li>
    <li><p>2 teaspoons vanilla extract</p></li>
  </ul>
  <div class="remark-slide-number">3 / 3</div>
</div>

The first and second partial slides look exactly the same, except that the <ul> unordered list element contains only the first one or first two <li> list items.

If you’re building up a slide full of bullet points, you’re probably talking about the last element in the list as you reveal each new list item. We can create a neat effect where the last list item — hence the :last-of-type pseudo-class — is highlighted by softening the previous list items or by changing the styling of the last item.

In HTML, lists are unordered <ul> or ordered <ol> lists containing list elements created with the <li> tag. Here’s a small example, similar to the structure of the HTML and CSS we’ll use for xaringan.

HTML

<ul class="demo">
  <li>item one</li>
  <li>item two</li>
  <li>item three</li>
<ul>

CSS

.demo > li {
  color: gray;
}
.demo > li:last-of-type {
  color: purple;
  font-weight: bold;
}

Result

  • item one
  • item two
  • item three

The .demo > li rule styles the list items under the <ul> tag with the .demo class, setting the text color to a muted gray. The .demo > li:last-of-type rule styles the last <li> that’s one level below (that’s what the > means) the .demo element.

Highlight Last List Item

Use the following CSS chunk — you can just copy and paste the chunk below into your slides’ Rmd file — to highlight the last list item by reducing the opacity of the other list items.

```{css echo=FALSE}
.highlight-last-item > ul > li, 
.highlight-last-item > ol > li {
  opacity: 0.5;
}
.highlight-last-item > ul > li:last-of-type,
.highlight-last-item > ol > li:last-of-type {
  opacity: 1;
}
```

Then, add the highlight-last-item class to any progressively revealed slide to focus on the current list item.

Here’s a complete example. Click into the Slides tab to preview the style in an embedded xaringan presentation.

R Markdown

class: highlight-last-item

# Best Brownies, Ingredients

- 1 cup milk chocolate chips

--

- 2 large eggs

--

- ... more list items...

Slides

Click inside the slides below and press the / arrows to progressively reveal the bullet points.

As written above, the last list item of each list on the slide will be highlighted, which may not be what you want if you have multiple lists on the slide. You could also add the :last-of-type pseudo-class to the ul and ol elements as well to target the last item of the last list on the slide.

Bold Last Item

You can use this pattern to style progressive lists any way you want. Here’s another example to do something similar, this time simply making the last list items bold.

```{css eval=FALSE}
.bold-last-item > ul > li:last-of-type,
.bold-last-item > ol > li:last-of-type {
  font-weight: bold;
}
```

Drop the CSS chunk above into your slides, to create slides like the example below.

R Markdown

class: bold-last-item

# Best Brownies, Steps

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a metal 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
--

1. Pour melted butter into a large mixing bowl. 
    1. Whisk in sugar by hand until smooth, 30 seconds.
--
1. Add in eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk 1 minute.
-

1. ... More Steps ...

Slides

Show Only Last Code Output

As a final example, we can also apply this trick to slides with multiple R code chunks. I sometimes want to demonstrate multiple R commands on a slide, but only the output of the last example matters.

This example is a little bit more complicated, but you can drop the CSS chunk below into your slides to create a show-only-last-code-result class.

```{css eval=FALSE}
.show-only-last-code-result pre + pre:not(:last-of-type) code[class="remark-code"] {
    display: none;
}
```

Here’s a complete example demonstrating a random sample of random sampling functions in R and only showing the output from the last command.

R Markdown


class: show-only-last-code-result

# Random Sampling in R

```{r}
runif(5)
```
--

```{r}
rnorm(5)
```
--

```{r}
rbinom(5, 1, 0.5)
```
--

```{r}
rcauchy(5)
```

Slides


If you like xaringan, you should check out my package, xaringanthemer!

If you really like xaringan, you might also enjoy another package I’ve created: xaringanExtra. It’s also how I created the panelsets above, which work in blogdown as well!