[R] how to manually enter an double quote as data feed?

Nordlund, Dan (DSHS/RDA) NordlDJ at dshs.wa.gov
Wed Dec 14 00:58:10 CET 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-
> project.org] On Behalf Of bonnieyuan
> Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 2:04 PM
> To: r-help at r-project.org
> Subject: [R] how to manually enter an double quote as data feed?
> I'm doing a text mining project where I have to manually enter a double
> quote
> as an element inside a vector.
> I tried
> char[10]='"'#where i enclosed the double quote in a pair of single
> quotes.
> But the result is [1] "\"". Somehow a back slash is added
> automatically.
> I also tried to enclose the double quote in a pair of double quotes.
> That
> didn't work either.
> I'm using Mac and latest release of R.
> Thank you!
> Bonnie Yuan


The backslach character in not actually there.  Since the double quote character has special meaning in R, it needs to be 'escaped' to change its special meaning to become a literal double quote character.  That is the function of the \ escape character.

Try the following

s1 <- '"'  #assign as you did 
s2 <- "\"" #assign using escape character

s1         #displays with backslash
nchar(s1)  #but there is only 1 character in the string

print(s1)  #prints backslash indicating literal double quote
cat(s1,'\n') #cat function displays without the backslash
             #notice n character is escaped, creating a newline character

Hope this is helpful,


Daniel J. Nordlund
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Planning, Performance, and Accountability
Research and Data Analysis Division
Olympia, WA 98504-5204

More information about the R-help mailing list