[R] gsub: replacing slashes in a string

David L Carlson dcarlson at tamu.edu
Wed Sep 14 18:59:41 CEST 2016

Is this what you want?

> (test2 <- gsub("\\", "/", test, fixed = TRUE))
[1] "8/24/2016" "8/24/2016" "6/16/2016" "6/16/2016"
> nchar(test2)
[1] 9 9 9 9
> write.csv(test2)

David L Carlson
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77840-4352

-----Original Message-----
From: R-help [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of Joe Ceradini
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 11:25 AM
To: Zilefac
Subject: [R] gsub: replacing slashes in a string

Hi all,

There are many R help posts out there dealing with slashes in gsub. I
understand slashes are "escape characters" and thus need to be treated
differently, and display differently in R. However, I'm still stuck on
find-replace problem, and would appreciate any tips. Thanks!

GOAL: replace all "\\" with "/", so when export file to csv all slashes are
the same.

(test <- c("8/24/2016", "8/24/2016", "6/16/2016", "6\\16\\2016"))

Lengths are all the same, I think (?) because of how R displays/deals with
slashes. However, when I export this to a csv, e.g., there are still double
slashes, which is a problem for me.

Change direction of slashes - works.
(test2 <- gsub("\\", "//", test, fixed = TRUE))

Now lengths are now not the same....

Change from double to single - does not work. Is this because it actually
is a single slash but R is just displaying it as double? Regardless, when I
export from R the double slashes do appear.
gsub("////", "//", test2, fixed = TRUE)
gsub("////", "//", test2)
gsub("////////", "////", test2, fixed = TRUE)
gsub("////////", "////", test2)

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