I’ve started a PhD! This has given me yet another reason to up my markdown game and this week I submitted my first abstract written in Rmarkdown. I’m planning on spending my PhD wasting way to much time obessing about my workflow. So why not get started? A few things worked well and some aspects still need some work.

Word count

When I started writing I kept knitting my document to check the word count but that very quickly got annoying. My friend google helped me find an Rstudio addin by Ben Marwick It is called wordcountaddin and you can either use it by clicking the Addins in Rstudio or run text_stats().

Method koRpus stringi
Word count 359 366
Character count 1923 2027
Sentence count 19 Not available
Reading time 1.8 minutes 1.8 minutes

It worked really well other than the minor freakout I had writing this (after submitting my abstract) because I wasn’t sure if the character count included spaces and if it didn’t include spaces then my character + spaces count would have made my abstract too long. Panic is over, the character count includes spaces.

Other people reading my abstract

One thing that didn’t work well was incorporating other people’s comments. I ended up copying text from the word doc with comments which was not a great workflow. Next time I’m going to explore redoc which looks incredible. I tried it on ubuntu a while ago and I couldn’t get it to work but I think that is a known issue (or at least I think I saw that somewhere). I’ll just need to remember to check if people are using MS Word or LibreOffice.

Drafting notes

When I write in word I will highlight or leave a comments on sentences or sections that I want to go back to. I have not found a good way of doing this in Rmarkdown yet, at least not without knitting my document. Maybe I could make the text bold or really large so at least I see it when I knit the document?


I kind of have a workflow with