Switching to Quarto

web publishing
I just finished porting my blog, based on blogdown and Hugo, to Quarto. Main reason was a number of small but handy improvements. Main challenge was to find all those small tweaks and make them work in the new setup. But it all worked out nicely.

Paulo van Breugel


October 25, 2022


I am a huge fan of RMarkdown to create e.g., tutorials, presentations and of course this very website. Creating it has always been easy thanks to the blogdown package in combination with Wowchemy’s Hugo Academic. However, there has been a new kid on the blog for some time now, Quarto.

Quarto is an open-source scientific and technical publishing system built on Pandoc, and is meant to create dynamic content with Python, R, Julia, and Observable.

Quarto is an upgrade rather than a complete replacement of RMarkdown. It offers mostly the same features and capabilities as RMarkdown, but also a lot of new ones. For me, important reasons to switch were the better integration of R and Python (and Julia and Observable), and the more systematic and extensive documentation. An added bonus is that Quarto integrates with VS Code, the editor of choice of a lot of my students. For other advantages, see this article.

Blogging with Quarto

I am working on new course material to introduce R for data analysis, data visualization and reporting. One of the assignments will be to create a blog, as I believe writing (for others or yourself) is a great way to learn, and creating and publishing your own content is a good way to demonstrate your skills.

My idea is to let them use Quarto, so switching over to Quarto myself seemed to be the logical choice. And luckily, the switch wasn’t difficult. RMarkdown and Quarto are largely the same, as is the use of yaml config files and yaml frontmatter. My previous blogdown + Hugo Academic setup did have more bells and whistles, but the structure of the Quarto blog seems simpler and easier to maintain.

Again, the official documentation is great. Other sources I found particular useful are:

If you are interested in using Quarto for your blog, or for any other form of scientific or technical publishing, you may also want to check out the awesome-quarto curated list of Quarto docs, examples, etc.

From here

I am quite happy with the result. I am sure there are some wrinkles to iron out and bugs to squash. But hey, that keeps things interesting :-). But seriously, if you do find a dead link or other issues, please let me know. You can use the comment section below (I switched from Disqus to giscus) or go the ‘About’ page to send me a message directly.


  1. The code I used for my landing page is based on that of the Jolly data blog.↩︎