Set Multiple Split Arguments in strsplit Function in R (Example)


This article shows how to define several split conditions in the strsplit function in the R programming language.

The table of content looks as follows:

Sound good? Great, let’s get started…


Construction of Example Data

We’ll use the following data as basement for this R tutorial:

my_string <- "aaaxbbbycccxddd"    # Create example character string
my_string                         # Print example character string
# [1] "aaaxbbbycccxddd"

Have a look at the previously shown output of the RStudio console. It shows that our example data is a single character string containing different letters.


Example: Specify Multiple Conditions in strsplit() Function

In this example, I’ll explain how to divide a character string based on multiple splitting arguments within the strsplit function.

Let’s first see how the strsplit function works with only one split condition:

strsplit(my_string, "x")          # strsplit with one condition
# [[1]]
# [1] "aaa"     "bbbyccc" "ddd"

As you can see, the previous R code has split our character string at each position where the character x was stored in the input data object.

Now, let’s assume that we want to split our character string according to two different splitting conditions, i.e. x and y. Then, we can use the | operator as shown in the following R code:

strsplit(my_string, "x|y")        # strsplit with multiple conditions
# [[1]]
# [1] "aaa" "bbb" "ccc" "ddd"

The previous output shows that we have split our character string at each positions of x and y. Looks good!


Video, Further Resources & Summary

If you need more explanations on the R programming codes of this article, you may watch the following video on the Statistics Globe YouTube channel. I’m explaining the R programming codes of this article in the video instruction.



In addition, you may have a look at the related R tutorials on I have released numerous tutorials that are related to the usage of several split conditions in the strsplit function already:


In this R tutorial you have learned how to set multiple split conditions in the strsplit function. If you have additional questions, let me know in the comments.


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