R gsub Function


gsub() function replaces all matches of a string, if the parameter is a string vector, returns a string vector of the same length and with the same attributes (after possible coercion to character). Elements of string vectors which are not substituted will be returned unchanged (including any declared encoding).

gsub(pattern, replacement, x, ignore.case = FALSE, perl = FALSE,
    fixed = FALSE, useBytes = FALSE)

• pattern: string to be matched
• replacement: string for replacement
• x: string or string vector
• ignore.case: if TRUE, ignore case
...

> x <- "R Tutorial"
> gsub("ut","ot",x)
[1] "R Totorial"

Case insensitive replace:
> gsub("tut","ot",x,ignore.case=T))
[1] "R otorial"

If ignore.case is not set to True, no replace take place:
> gsub("tut","ot",x)
[1] "R Tutorial"

> x <- "line 4322: He is now 25 years old, and weights 130lbs"
> y <- gsub("\\d+","---",x)
> y
[1] "line ---: He is now --- years old, and weights ---lbs"

> x <- "line 4322: He is now 25 years old, and weights 130lbs"
> y <- gsub("[[:lower:]]","-",x)
> y
[1] "---- 4322: H- -- --- 25 ----- ---, --- ------- 130---"

Vector replacement:
> x <- c("R Tutorial","PHP Tutorial", "HTML Tutorial")
> gsub("Tutorial","Examples",x)
[1] "R Examples"    "PHP Examples"  "HTML Examples"







Regular Expression Syntax:

SyntaxDescription
\\dDigit, 0,1,2 ... 9
\\DNot Digit
\\sSpace
\\SNot Space
\\wWord
\\WNot Word
\\tTab
\\nNew line
^Beginning of the string
$End of the string
\Escape special characters, e.g. \\ is "\", \+ is "+"
|Alternation match. e.g. /(e|d)n/ matches "en" and "dn"
Any character, except \n or line terminator
[ab]a or b
[^ab]Any character except a and b
[0-9]All Digit
[A-Z]All uppercase A to Z letters
[a-z]All lowercase a to z letters
[A-z]All Uppercase and lowercase a to z letters
i+i at least one time
i*i zero or more times
i?i zero or 1 time
i{n}i occurs n times in sequence
i{n1,n2}i occurs n1 - n2 times in sequence
i{n1,n2}?non greedy match, see above example
i{n,}i occures >= n times
[:alnum:]Alphanumeric characters: [:alpha:] and [:digit:]
[:alpha:]Alphabetic characters: [:lower:] and [:upper:]
[:blank:]Blank characters: e.g. space, tab
[:cntrl:]Control characters
[:digit:]Digits: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
[:graph:]Graphical characters: [:alnum:] and [:punct:]
[:lower:]Lower-case letters in the current locale
[:print:]Printable characters: [:alnum:], [:punct:] and space
[:punct:]Punctuation character: ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . / : ; < = > ? @ [ \ ] ^ _ ` { | } ~
[:space:]Space characters: tab, newline, vertical tab, form feed, carriage return, space
[:upper:]Upper-case letters in the current locale
[:xdigit:]Hexadecimal digits: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F a b c d e f