[R] Replacing tabs with appropriate number of spaces

hadley wickham h.wickham at gmail.com
Tue Dec 9 18:15:13 CET 2008

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 10:39 AM, Dennis Fisher <fisher at plessthan.com> wrote:
> Colleagues,
> Platform: OS X (but issue applies to all platforms)
> Version: 2.8.0
> I have a mixture of text and data that I am outputting via R to a pdf
> document (using a fixed-width font).  The text contains tabs that align
> columns properly with a fixed-width font in a terminal window.  However,
> when the PDF document is created, the concept of a tab is not invoked
> properly and columns do not align.
> I could use brute force as follows:
> 1.  identify lines of text containing tabs
> 2.  strsplit on tabs
> 3.  count characters preceding the tab, then replace the tab with the
> appropriate number of spaces (e.g., if the string preceding the tab has 29
> characters, add 3 spaces), then paste(..., sep="")

Tabs usually just expand to a fixed number of spaces - so gsub("\t","
  ", text) would do the job.



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