I am trying to build a long string of the form.....\'name1\',\'name2\',\'name3\',..etc. How do I do it ? I am trying to do it using R ? By hand is impossible as there are currently over 200 such names and in future I may have more. So I need to automate the process. However, every time I tried to use R's paste0 function I am getting a different result. Here is what I did:

t <- c()
for( nms in name){ t <- paste0(t, paste0("\\'",nms,"\\'", sep = ",") ) }

However, the result turns out to include double backslashes instead of one, like this "\\'name1\\',\\'name2\\',\\'name3\\' etc. I couldn't get a single backslash as I want.

Any help would be appreciated.


  • $\begingroup$ I believe I addressed this in the comments on your other question (datascience.stackexchange.com/questions/9342/…)! If that adequately fixes your problem, can you close this one? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Kyle. Dec 11 '15 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ Please see the comments. As I mentioned here, I couldn't get single backslash. paste function is giving me double backslashes like \\'name1\\', etc. Inside read.csv, double backslashes produces error. It only take single backslash. $\endgroup$ – user62198 Dec 11 '15 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ I am kind of in a time crunch. That's why I opened another question in the hope of reaching others who may not have seen this. No other reason. $\endgroup$ – user62198 Dec 11 '15 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ cat("\\'",name,"\\'") function is giving desired results, but let me try to fit this into your function $\endgroup$ – Jijo Dec 18 '15 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ try to write it as csv write.csv(t,"t.csv") it gives the desired result means that R internally stores it as expected $\endgroup$ – Jijo Dec 18 '15 at 9:22

The way R displays the string (using print command) is different from the actual value of this string. Even though you see 2 backslashes for your output, the actual string contains a single backslash. This is because when you type the name of your variable it shows the value within the quotes and within quotes it should use 2 backslashes. When you display the value of the sting using message() or other similar function, when it just prints the value without quotes, then you will see a single back slash only:

#create a vector of names (words)
words <- c("word1","word2","word3")

#add prefix and suffix part to each word
words_vec <- paste0("\\'",words,"\\'")
"\\'word1\\'" "\\'word2\\'" "\\'word3\\'"

#Combine the vector into the string
line <-paste(words_vec,collapse='')

#Check how the string looks:

By the way, the above (vectorized) method is more efficient than the for-loop method you are using to put all names together.


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