How to use Hpaste in R to turn vectors into human friendly strings

Sometimes when doing data science, you may need to convert a vector of data into a form that is more human-friendly. Sometimes it helps if the data is in a text format that is easier to read. It turns out that in R programming, the R.utils package has a function that can help.

Description – hpaste in R

The R.utils package in R has the hpaste function which has the format of, hpaste(x, sep, collapse, lastCollapse, maxHead, maxTail, abbreviate) where “x” is the vector being collapsed, “collapse” is the separation characters of the vector’s elements, “lastCollapse” is the separation characters of the last element, “maxHead” is the number of elements displayed before abbreviation and it is three by default, “maxTail” is the number of elements displayed after abbreviation and it is one by default, and “abbreviate” is the characters used to show the abbreviation. Only the vector being collapsed is a required argument.

Explanation – hpaste in R

The hpaste function creates a human-friendly string from a vector’s elements by combining them with the proper spaces and other punctuation marks needed to make it more readable. This function may have a lot of arguments, but it gives it a lot of flexibility. It is similar to the paste function, but its extra arguments make it more flexible when being used with vectors. This flexibility allows you to format the string list in almost any way. You can use whatever symbols or separation scheme that you want.

Examples of using hpaste() in R

Here we have several examples of the hpaste function turning vectors into human-friendly strings. In each of these cases, a different feature is illustrated. The vector each of them is working with holds a list of the notes for each string of a guitar.

> library(R.utils)
> x = c(“E”, “A”, “D”, “G”, “B”, “E” )
> hpaste(x)
[1] “E, A, D, …, E”

This first example is the simplest case of using this function. Note that it only shows the first three notes along with the last one.

> library(R.utils)
> x = c(“E”, “A”, “D”, “G”, “B”, “E” )
> hpaste(x, maxHead = 2 )
[1] “E, A, …, E”

In this example, we set the “maxHead” argument of this function to two. The result is that we only get the first two notes and the last one.

> library(R.utils)
> x = c(“E”, “A”, “D”, “G”, “B”, “E” )
> hpaste(x, maxHead = 4)
[1] “E, A, D, G, B, E”

In this example, we set the “maxHead” argument of this function to four. The result is that we get the entire vector because it has only six elements and the function does not abbreviate a single element.

> library(R.utils)
> x = c(“E”, “A”, “D”, “G”, “B”, “E” )
> hpaste(x, collapse =”:”)
[1] “E:A:D:…:E”

In this example, we set the “collapse” argument to “:” and as a result that produces a string with each note separated by a colon. Like in this simple case, the string only shows the first three notes and the last note.

> library(R.utils)
> x = c(“E”, “A”, “D”, “G”, “B”, “E” )
> hpaste(x, collapse =”:”, maxHead = 4)
[1] “E:A:D:G:B:E”

In this example, we set the “collapse” argument to “:” and the “maxHead” argument to four. The result is a string with all six notes separated by a colon.

> library(R.utils)
> x = c(“E”, “A”, “D”, “G”, “B”, “E” )
> hpaste(x, lastCollapse = “, and “)
[1] “E, A, D, G, B, and E”

In this final example, we set the “lastCollapse” argument to “, and ” and this produces a nice readable string that has a list of notes separated by commas, with the word “and” before the final note.

Applications of hpaste in R

The main application of this function is converting vectors into easily readable strings. If you have a vector that is a list of data, it will convert it into a text string that lists the data in a readable manner with a wide variety of formats. This is extremely useful if you are preparing the data for a presentation, report, or other forms of publication. This process can be applied anytime you are preparing your data to be presented to an audience that will not be able to make sense of the regular formats within the program such as data frames and vectors.

The hpaste function is a handy tool for turning vectors into human-friendly strings. Its seven arguments may seem intimidating at first. However, once you realize that you usually do not use all of them at the same time and that they are easy to understand, the intimidation will go away.

Scroll to top