Shiny And R Markdown - Passing A sidebarPanel?

Hello all - first time user here, coming to you for help because at wit's end with the interfacing between Shiny and R Markdown. Very much a novice when it comes to both, but after much frustration, I've managed to create an app where:

  1. Input is interactively provided by the user in a sidebarPanel. This includes a series of textInput, selectInput, checkboxInput, dateRangeInput, etc.

  2. Output is given in a mainPanel, using tabs, to show various plot and text outputs.

  3. I've created a button to download a knitted HTML report of the app's output via downloadHandler, using reactiveValues() to pass all of the salient data to R Markdown. The RMD recreates the tabbed interface of the mainPanel and all of the output figures based on the passed data.

Unfortunately, I now need to figure out how to re-capture the INPUT too, so it is reflected in the R Markdown HTML report, but I am too much a novice to figure out what to do.

Ideally, I'd like to pass the entire sidebarPanel widget from the Shiny app and have it reflected in the R Markdown report in one swoop. I am learning the hard way, though, that is seems impossible to pass Shiny UI elements directly into R Markdown.

I will say, though, that a non-interactive snapshot of the panel would work too! I just need the data reflected in the report.

Failing some sort of direct pass of the widget, I am wondering how I can re-create the sidebarPanel in my R Markdown report. I get I can pass all of the input data itself using the same reactiveValues() approach as the output, but how:

  1. Can I re-create the textInputs, selectInputs, checkboxInputs, dateRangeInputs, etc. in R Markdown?

  2. How can I get this information to appear in a sidebar, like the sidebarPanel, in R Markdown?

Basically, I'm trying to avoid reflecting echo'ing all of the input params as a giant blob of text, and as an extra tab in my tabbed HTML rather than as a visually appealing sidebar.

Any help would be appreciated. I hope I am clear here - I am avoiding posting code because of confidentiality, but I can come up with dummy examples if requested.