saveHTML: Insert animations into an HTML page

Description Usage Arguments Details Value Note Author(s) References See Also


This function first records all the plots in the R expression as bitmap images, then inserts them into an HTML page and finally creates the animation using the SciAnimator library.


saveHTML(expr, = "Rplot", global.opts = "", single.opts = "", 
    navigator = ani.options("nmax") <= 100 && ani.options("interval") >= 
        0.05, htmlfile = "index.html", ...)



an R expression to be evaluated to create a sequence of images

the filename of the images (the real output will be like ‘img.name1.png’, ‘img.name2.png’, ...); this name has to be different for different animations, since it will be used as the identifiers for each animation; make it as unique as possible; meanwhile, the following characters in will be replaced by _ to make it a legal jQuery string:



a string: the global options of the animation; e.g. we can specify the default theme to be blue using $.fn.scianimator.defaults.theme = 'blue'; note these options must be legal JavaScript expressions (ended by ';')


the options for each single animation (if there are multiple ones in one HTML page), e.g. to use the dark theme and text labels for buttons:

'utf8': false, 'theme': 'dark'

or to remove the navigator panel (the navigator can affect the smoothness of the animation when the playing speed is extremely fast (e.g. interval less than 0.05 seconds)):

'controls': ['first', 'previous', 'play', 'next', 'last', 'loop', 'speed']

see the reference for a complete list of available options


whether to show the navigator (like a progress bar); by default, the navigator is not shown for performance reasons when the number of images is greater than 100 or the time interval is smaller than 0.05


the filename of the HTML file


other arguments to be passed to ani.options to animation options such as the time interval between image frames


It mainly uses the SciAnimator library, which is based on jQuery. It has a neat interface (both technically and visually) and is much easier to use or extend. Moreover, this function allows multiple animations in a single HTML page – just use the same HTML filename.

Optionally the source code and some session information can be added below the animations for the sake of reproducibility (specified by the option ani.options('verbose') – if TRUE, the description, loaded packages, the code to produce the animation, as well as a part of sessionInfo() will be written in the bottom of the animation; the R code will be highlighted using the SyntaxHighlighter library for better reading experience).


The path of the HTML output.


Microsoft IE might restrict the HTML page from running JavaScript and try to “protect your security” when you view the animation page, but this is not really a security problem.

When you want to publish the HTML page on the web, you have to upload the associated ‘css’ and ‘js’ folders with the HTML file as well as the images.

For saveHTML, ani.options('description') can be a character vector, in which case this vector will be pasted into a scalar; use '\n\n' in the string to separate paragraphs (see the first example below).

For the users who do not have R at hand, there is a demo in system.file('misc', 'Rweb', 'demo.html', package = 'animation') to show how to create animations online without R being installed locally. It depends, however, on whether the Rweb service can be provided for public use in a long period (currently we are using the Rweb at Tama University). See the last example below.


Yihui Xie


Examples at

scianimator official website

See Also

Other utilities: im.convert, saveGIF, saveLatex, saveSWF, saveVideo

animation documentation built on May 2, 2019, 3:46 p.m.