I'm currently working on a pdf document using Rmarkdown on RStudio but I'm very much confused about to how to customize my YAML section. This is my actual code:

title: "The very basics of R"
author: "Alejandro C."
date: "March, 2020"
    latex_engine: xelatex
    toc: true

mainfont: Times New Roman
fontsize: 12pt
  - \usepackage{titling}
  - \pretitle{\begin{flushleft}}
  - \posttitle{\end{flushleft}}  
  - \preauthor{\begin{flushleft}}
  - \postauthor{\end{flushleft}}  
  - \predate{\begin{flushleft}}
  - \postdate{\end{flushleft}}  


What I want to achieve is the following:

  • Use a bigger fontsize in my title (for example, 14) and boldface it
  • Use 12 fontsize for author and date
  • Use 11 fontsize for my document (I don't know if this must be specified in the YAML section)

I'm new on this topic so I really don't know where to start besides the R Markdown Reference Guide. Any help and advice will be much appreciated.

1 Answer 1


You lost the format of each element of title forcing flushleft environments instead of redefining \maketitle, but some like ...

fontsize: 11pt
  - \usepackage{titling}
  - \pretitle{\begin{flushleft}\huge\bfseries}
  - \posttitle{\end{flushleft}}  
  - \preauthor{\begin{flushleft}\Large}
  - \postauthor{\end{flushleft}}  
  - \predate{\begin{flushleft}\large}
  - \postdate{\end{flushleft}}

... must be nearly to what you want. You can see what font sizes are exactly commands as \large or \Large here.

  • Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much! Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 15:48
  • By the way, where can I found some info about redifining \maketitle? As I said, this is a completely new topic for me but I'm eager to learn. Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 15:56
  • Simply is \makeatletter\def\@maketitle{<your definition >}\makeatotter. An example here. Alternatively, mostly in books, you can use a ``titlepage` environment to construct yourself the page title in a free format. But instead of make elaborate YAML headers or add a lot of LaTeX code in the Rmarkdown body, my advice is search about modify pandoc templates.
    – Fran
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 18:22

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