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I’m pleased to announce that readxl 1.0.0 is available on CRAN. readxl makes it easy to bring tabular data out of Excel and into R, for modern .xlsx files and the legacy .xls format. readxl does not have any tricky external dependencies, such as Java or Perl, and is easy to install and use on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

You can install it with:

install.packages("readxl")

As well as fixing many bugs, this release:

  • Allows you to target specific cells for reading, in a variety of ways
  • Adds two new column types: "logical" and "list", for data of disparate type
  • Is more resilient to the wondrous diversity in spreadsheets, e.g., those written by 3rd party tools

You can see a full list of changes in the release notes. This is the first release maintained by Jenny Bryan.

Specifying the data rectangle

In an ideal world, data would live in a neat rectangle in the upper left corner of a spreadsheet. But spreadsheets often serve multiple purposes for users with different priorities. It is common to encounter several rows of notes above or below the data, for example. The new range argument provides a flexible interface for describing the data rectangle, including Excel-style ranges and row- or column-only ranges.

library(readxl)
read_excel(
  readxl_example("deaths.xlsx"),
  range = "arts!A5:F15"
)
#> # A tibble: 10 × 6
#>            Name Profession   Age `Has kids` `Date of birth`
#>                                  
#> 1   David Bowie   musician    69       TRUE      1947-01-08
#> 2 Carrie Fisher      actor    60       TRUE      1956-10-21
#> 3   Chuck Berry   musician    90       TRUE      1926-10-18
#> 4   Bill Paxton      actor    61       TRUE      1955-05-17
#> # ... with 6 more rows, and 1 more variables: `Date of death` 

read_excel(
  readxl_example("deaths.xlsx"),
  sheet = "other",
  range = cell_rows(5:15)
)
#> # A tibble: 10 × 6
#>           Name Profession   Age `Has kids` `Date of birth`
#>                                           
#> 1   Vera Rubin  scientist    88       TRUE      1928-07-23
#> 2  Mohamed Ali    athlete    74       TRUE      1942-01-17
#> 3 Morley Safer journalist    84       TRUE      1931-11-08
#> 4 Fidel Castro politician    90       TRUE      1926-08-13
#> # ... with 6 more rows, and 1 more variables: `Date of death`

There is also a new argument n_max that limits the number of data rows read from the sheet. It is an example of readxl’s evolution towards a readr-like interface. The Sheet Geometry vignette goes over all the options.

Column typing

The new ability to target cells for reading means that readxl’s automatic column typing will “just work” for most sheets, most of the time. Above, the Has kids column is automatically detected as logical, which is a new column type for readxl.

You can still specify column type explicitly via col_types, which gets a couple new features. If you provide exactly one type, it is recycled to the necessary length. The new type "guess" can be mixed with explicit types to specify some types, while leaving others to be guessed.

read_excel(
  readxl_example("deaths.xlsx"),
  range = "arts!A5:C15",
  col_types = c("guess", "skip", "numeric")
)
#> # A tibble: 10 × 2
#>            Name   Age
#>            
#> 1   David Bowie    69
#> 2 Carrie Fisher    60
#> 3   Chuck Berry    90
#> 4   Bill Paxton    61
#> # ... with 6 more rows

The new argument guess_max limits the rows used for type guessing. Leading and trailing whitespace is trimmed when the new trim_ws argument is TRUE, which is the default. Finally, thanks to Jonathan Marshall, multiple na values are accepted. The Cell and Column Types vignette has more detail.

"list" columns

Thanks to Greg Freedman Ellis we now have a "list" column type. This is useful if you want to bring truly disparate data into R without the coercion required by atomic vector types.

(df <- read_excel(
  readxl_example("clippy.xlsx"),
  col_types = c("text", "list")
))
#> # A tibble: 4 × 2
#>                   name      value
#>                  <chr>     <list>
#> 1                 Name  <chr [1]>
#> 2              Species  <chr [1]>
#> 3 Approx date of death <dttm [1]>
#> 4      Weight in grams  <dbl [1]>

tibble::deframe(df)
#> $Name
#> [1] "Clippy"
#> 
#> $Species
#> [1] "paperclip"
#> 
#> $`Approx date of death`
#> [1] "2007-01-01 UTC"
#> 
#> $`Weight in grams`
#> [1] 0.9

Everything else

To learn more, read the vignettes and articles or release notes. Highlights include:

  • General rationalization of sheet geometry, including detection and treatment of empty rows and columns.
  • Improved behavior and messaging around coercion and mismatched cell and column types.
  • Improved handling of datetimes with respect to 3rd party software, rounding, and the Lotus 1-2-3 leap year bug.
  • read_xls() and read_xlsx() are now exposed, so that files without an .xls or .xlsx extension can be read. Thanks Jirka Lewandowski!
  • readxl Workflows showcases patterns that reduce tedium and increase reproducibility when raw data arrives in a spreadsheet.

rstudio::conf 2017, the conference on all things R and RStudio, is only 90 days away. Now is the time to claim your spot or grab one of the few remaining seats at Training Days – including the new Tidyverse workshop.

REGISTER NOW

Whether you’re already registered or still working on it, we’re delighted today to announce the full conference schedule, so that you can plan your days in Florida.

rstudio::conf 2017 takes place January 12-14 at the Gaylord Resorts in Kissimmee, Florida. There are over 30 talks and tutorials to choose from that are sure to accelerate your productivity in R and RStudio. In addition to the highlights below, topics include the latest news on R notebooks, sparklyr, profiling, the tidyverse, shiny, r markdown, html widgets, data access and the new enterprise-scale publishing capabilities of RStudio Connect.

Schedule Highlights

Keynotes
– Hadley Wickham, Chief Scientist, RStudio: Data Science in the Tidyverse
– Andrew Flowers, Economics Writer, FiveThirtyEight: Finding and Telling Stories with R
– J.J. Allaire, Software Engineer, CEO & Founder: RStudio Past, Present and Future

Tutorials
– Winston Chang, Software Engineer, RStudio: Building Dashboards with Shiny
– Charlotte Wickham, Oregon State University: Happy R Users Purrr
– Yihui Xie, Software Engineer, RStudio: Advanced R Markdown
– Jenny Bryan, University of British Columbia: Happy Git and GitHub for the UseR

Featured Speakers
– Max Kuhn, Senior Director Non-Clinical Statistics, Pfizer
– Dirk Eddelbuettel, Ketchum Trading: Extending R with C++: A Brief Introduction to Rcpp
– Hilary Parker, Stitch Fix: Opinionated Analysis Development“
Bryan Lewis, Paradigm4: “Fun with htmlwidgets”
Ryan Hafen, Hafen Consulting: “Interactive plotting with rbokeh and crosstalk”
Julia Silge, Datassist: “Text mining, the tidy way”
Bob Rudis, Rapid7: “Writing readable code with pipes”

Featured Talk
– Joseph Rickert, R Ambassador, RStudio: R’s Role in Data Science

Be sure to visit https://www.rstudio.com/conference/ for the full schedule and latest updates and don’t forget to download the RStudio conference app to help you plan your days in detail.

Special Reminder: When you register, make sure you purchase your ticket for Friday evening at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The park is reserved exclusively for rstudio::conf attendees. It’s an extraordinary experience we’re sure you’ll enjoy!

We appreciate our sponsors and exhibitors!

install.packages("haven")

haven 1.0.0 is a major release, and indicates that haven is now largely feature complete and has been tested on many real world datasets. There are four major changes in this version of haven:

  1. Improvements to the underlying ReadStat library
  2. Better handling of “special” missing values
  3. Improved date/time support
  4. Support for other file metadata.

There were also a whole bunch of other minor improvements and bug fixes: you can see the complete list in the release notes.

ReadStat

Haven builds on top of the ReadStat C library by Evan Miller. This version of haven includes many improvements thanks to Evan’s hard work on ReadStat:

  • Can read binary/Ross compressed SAS files.
  • Support for reading and writing Stata 14 data files.
  • New write_sas() allows you to write data frames out to sas7bdat files. This is still somewhat experimental.
  • read_por() now actually works.
  • Many other bug fixes and minor improvements.

Missing values

haven 1.0.0 includes comprehensive support for the “special” types of missing values found in SAS, SPSS, and Stata. All three tools provide a global “system missing value”, displayed as .. This is roughly equivalent to R’s NA, although neither Stata nor SAS propagate missingness in numeric comparisons (SAS treats the missing value as the smallest possible number and Stata treats it as the largest possible number).

Each tool also provides a mechanism for recording multiple types of missingness:

  • Stata has “extended” missing values, .A through .Z.
  • SAS has “special” missing values, .A through .Z plus ._.
  • SPSS has per-column “user” missing values. Each column can declare up to three distinct values or a range of values (plus one distinct value) that should be treated as missing.

Stata and SAS only support tagged missing values for numeric columns. SPSS supports up to three distinct values for character columns. Generally, operations involving a user-missing type return a system missing value.

Haven models these missing values in two different ways:

  • For SAS and Stata, haven provides tagged_na() which extend R’s regular NA to add a single character label.
  • For SPSS, haven provides labelled_spss() that also models user defined values and ranges.

Use zap_missing() if you just want to convert to R’s regular NAs.

You can get more details in the semantics vignette.

Date/times

Support for date/times has substantially improved:

  • read_dta() now recognises “%d” and custom date types.
  • read_sav() now correctly recognises EDATE and JDATE formats as dates. Variables with format DATE, ADATE, EDATE, JDATE or SDATE are imported as Date variables instead of POSIXct.
  • write_dta() and write_sav() support writing date/times.
  • Support for hms() has been moved into the hms package. Time varibles now have class c("hms", "difftime") and a unitsattribute with value “secs”.

Other metadata

Haven is slowly adding support for other types of metadata:

  • Variable formats can be read and written. Similarly to to variable labels, formats are stored as an attribute on the vector. Use zap_formats() if you want to remove these attributes.
  • Added support for reading file “label” and “notes”. These are not currently printed, but are stored in the attributes if you need to access them.

I’m planning to release ggplot2 2.2.0 in early November. In preparation, I’d like to announce that a release candidate is now available: version 2.1.0.9001. Please try it out, and file an issue on GitHub if you discover any problems. I hope we can find and fix any major issues before the official release.

Install the pre-release version with:

# install.packages("devtools")
devtools::install_github("hadley/ggplot2")

If you discover a major bug that breaks your plots, please file a minimal reprex, and then roll back to the released version with:

install.packages("ggplot2")

ggplot2 2.2.0 will be a relatively major release including:

The majority of this work was carried out by Thomas Pedersen, who I was lucky to have as my “ggplot2 intern” this summer. Make sure to check out other visualisation packages: ggraphggforce, and tweenr.

Subtitles and captions

Thanks to Bob Rudis, you can now add subtitles and captions:

ggplot(mpg, aes(displ, hwy)) +
  geom_point(aes(color = class)) +
  geom_smooth(se = FALSE, method = "loess") +
  labs(
    title = "Fuel efficiency generally decreases with engine size",
    subtitle = "Two seaters (sports cars) are an exception because of their light weight",
    caption = "Data from fueleconomy.gov"
  )
unnamed-chunk-3-1

These are controlled by the theme settings plot.subtitle and plot.caption.

The plot title is now aligned to the left by default. To return to the previous centering, use theme(plot.title = element_text(hjust = 0.5)).

Facets

The facet and layout implementation has been moved to ggproto and received a large rewrite and refactoring. This will allow others to create their own facetting systems, as descrbied in the Extending ggplot2 vignette. Along with the rewrite a number of features and improvements has been added, most notably:

  • Functions in facetting formulas, thanks to Dan Ruderman.
    ggplot(diamonds, aes(carat, price)) + 
      geom_hex(bins = 20) + 
      facet_wrap(~cut_number(depth, 6))
    unnamed-chunk-4-1
  • Axes were dropped when the panels in facet_wrap() did not completely fill the rectangle. Now, an axis is drawn underneath the hanging panels:
    ggplot(mpg, aes(displ, hwy)) + 
      geom_point() + 
      facet_wrap(~class)

    unnamed-chunk-5-1

  • It is now possible to set the position of the axes through the position argument in the scale constructor:
    ggplot(mpg, aes(displ, hwy)) + 
      geom_point() + 
      scale_x_continuous(position = "top") + 
      scale_y_continuous(position = "right")

    unnamed-chunk-6-1

  • You can display a secondary axis that is a one-to-one transformation of the primary axis with the sec.axis argument:
    ggplot(mpg, aes(displ, hwy)) + 
      geom_point() + 
      scale_y_continuous(
        "mpg (US)", 
        sec.axis = sec_axis(~ . * 1.20, name = "mpg (UK)")
      )

    unnamed-chunk-7-1

  • Strips can be placed on any side, and the placement with respect to axes can be controlled with the strip.placement theme option.
    ggplot(mpg, aes(displ, hwy)) + 
      geom_point() + 
      facet_wrap(~ drv, strip.position = "bottom") + 
      theme(
        strip.placement = "outside",
        strip.background = element_blank(),
        strip.text = element_text(face = "bold")
      ) +
      xlab(NULL)

    unnamed-chunk-8-1

Theming

  • Blank elements can now be overridden again so you get the expected behavior when setting e.g. axis.line.x.
  • element_line() gets an arrow argument that lets you put arrows on axes.
    arrow <- arrow(length = unit(0.4, "cm"), type = "closed")
    
    ggplot(mpg, aes(displ, hwy)) + 
      geom_point() + 
      theme_minimal() + 
      theme(
        axis.line = element_line(arrow = arrow)
      )

    unnamed-chunk-9-1

  • Control of legend styling has been improved. The whole legend area can be aligned according to the plot area and a box can be drawn around all legends:
    ggplot(mpg, aes(displ, hwy, shape = drv, colour = fl)) + 
      geom_point() + 
      theme(
        legend.justification = "top", 
        legend.box.margin = margin(3, 3, 3, 3, "mm"), 
        legend.box.background = element_rect(colour = "grey50")
      )

    unnamed-chunk-10-1

  • panel.margin and legend.margin have been renamed to panel.spacing and legend.spacing respectively as this better indicates their roles. A new legend.margin has been actually controls the margin around each legend.
  • When computing the height of titles ggplot2, now inclues the height of the descenders (i.e. the bits g and y that hang underneath). This makes improves the margins around titles, particularly the y axis label. I have also very slightly increased the inner margins of axis titles, and removed the outer margins.
  • The default themes has been tweaked by Jean-Olivier Irisson making them better match theme_grey().
  • Lastly, the theme() function now has named arguments so autocomplete and documentation suggestions are vastly improved.

Stacking bars

position_stack() and position_fill() now stack values in the reverse order of the grouping, which makes the default stack order match the legend.

avg_price <- diamonds %>% 
  group_by(cut, color) %>% 
  summarise(price = mean(price)) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  mutate(price_rel = price - mean(price))

ggplot(avg_price) + 
  geom_col(aes(x = cut, y = price, fill = color))

unnamed-chunk-11-1

(Note also the new geom_col() which is short-hand for geom_bar(stat = "identity"), contributed by Bob Rudis.)

Additionally, you can now stack negative values:

ggplot(avg_price) + 
  geom_col(aes(x = cut, y = price_rel, fill = color))

unnamed-chunk-12-1

The overall ordering cannot necessarily be matched in the presence of negative values, but the ordering on either side of the x-axis will match.

If you want to stack in the opposite order, try forcats::fct_rev():

ggplot(avg_price) + 
  geom_col(aes(x = cut, y = price, fill = fct_rev(color)))
unnamed-chunk-13-1

The tidyverse is a set of packages that work in harmony because they share common data representations and API design. The tidyverse package is designed to make it easy to install and load core packages from the tidyverse in a single command.

The best place to learn about all the packages in the tidyverse and how they fit together is R for Data Science. Expect to hear more about the tidyverse in the coming months as I work on improved package websites, making citation easier, and providing a common home for discussions about data analysis with the tidyverse.

Installation

You can install tidyverse with

install.packages("tidyverse")

This will install the core tidyverse packages that you are likely to use in almost every analysis:

  • ggplot2, for data visualisation.
  • dplyr, for data manipulation.
  • tidyr, for data tidying.
  • readr, for data import.
  • purrr, for functional programming.
  • tibble, for tibbles, a modern re-imagining of data frames.

It also installs a selection of other tidyverse packages that you’re likely to use frequently, but probably not in every analysis. This includes packages for data manipulation:

Data import:

  • DBI, for databases.
  • haven, for SPSS, SAS and Stata files.
  • httr, for web apis.
  • jsonlite for JSON.
  • readxl, for .xls and .xlsx files.
  • rvest, for web scraping.
  • xml2, for XML.

And modelling:

  • modelr, for simple modelling within a pipeline
  • broom, for turning models into tidy data

These packages will be installed along with tidyverse, but you’ll load them explicitly with library().

Usage

library(tidyverse) will load the core tidyverse packages: ggplot2, tibble, tidyr, readr, purrr, and dplyr. You also get a condensed summary of conflicts with other packages you have loaded:

library(tidyverse)
#> Loading tidyverse: ggplot2
#> Loading tidyverse: tibble
#> Loading tidyverse: tidyr
#> Loading tidyverse: readr
#> Loading tidyverse: purrr
#> Loading tidyverse: dplyr
#> Conflicts with tidy packages ---------------------------------------
#> filter(): dplyr, stats
#> lag():    dplyr, stats

You can see conflicts created later with tidyverse_conflicts():

library(MASS)
#> 
#> Attaching package: 'MASS'
#> The following object is masked from 'package:dplyr':
#> 
#>     select
tidyverse_conflicts()
#> Conflicts with tidy packages --------------------------------------
#> filter(): dplyr, stats
#> lag():    dplyr, stats
#> select(): dplyr, MASS

And you can check that all tidyverse packages are up-to-date with tidyverse_update():

tidyverse_update()
#> The following packages are out of date:
#>  * broom (0.4.0 -> 0.4.1)
#>  * DBI   (0.4.1 -> 0.5)
#>  * Rcpp  (0.12.6 -> 0.12.7)
#> Update now?
#> 
#> 1: Yes
#> 2: No
install.packages("lubridate")

This release includes a range of bug fixes and minor improvements. Some highlights from this release include:

  • period() and duration() constructors now accept character strings and allow a very flexible specification of timespans:
    period("3H 2M 1S")
    #> [1] "3H 2M 1S"
    
    duration("3 hours, 2 mins, 1 secs")
    #> [1] "10921s (~3.03 hours)"
    
    # Missing numerals default to 1. 
    # Repeated units are summed
    period("hour minute minute")
    #> [1] "1H 2M 0S"

    Period and duration parsing allows for arbitrary abbreviations of time units as long as the specification is unambiguous. For single letter specs, strptime() rules are followed, so m stands for months and M for minutes.

    These same rules allows you to compare strings and durations/periods:

    "2mins 1 sec" > period("2mins")
    #> [1] TRUE
  • Date time rounding (with round_date()floor_date() and ceiling_date()) now supports unit multipliers, like “3 days” or “2 months”:
    ceiling_date(ymd_hms("2016-09-12 17:10:00"), unit = "5 minutes")
    #> [1] "2016-09-12 17:10:00 UTC"
  • The behavior of ceiling_date for Date objects is now more intuitive. In short, dates are now interpreted as time intervals that are physically part of longer unit intervals:
    |day1| ... |day31|day1| ... |day28| ...
    |    January     |   February     | ...

    That means that rounding up 2000-01-01 by a month is done to the boundary between January and February which, i.e. 2000-02-01:

    ceiling_date(ymd("2000-01-01"), unit = "month")
    #> [1] "2000-02-01"

    This behavior is controlled by the change_on_boundary argument.

  • It is now possible to compare POSIXct and Date objects:
    ymd_hms("2000-01-01 00:00:01") > ymd("2000-01-01")
    #> [1] TRUE
  • C-level parsing now handles English months and AM/PM indicator regardless of your locale. This means that English date-times are now always handled by lubridate C-level parsing and you don’t need to explicitly switch the locale.
  • New parsing function yq() allows you to parse a year + quarter:
    yq("2016-02")
    #> [1] "2016-04-01"

    The new q format is available in all lubridate parsing functions.

See the release notes for the full list of changes. A big thanks goes to everyone who contributed: @arneschillert, @cderv, @ijlyttle, @jasonelaw, @jonboiser, and @krlmlr.

If you use packages from the tidyverse (like tibble and readr) you don’t need to worry about getting factors when you don’t want them. But factors are a useful data structure in their own right, particularly for modelling and visualisation, because they allow you to control the order of the levels. Working with factors in base R can be a little frustrating because of a handful of missing tools. The goal of forcats is to fill in those missing pieces so you can access the power of factors with a minimum of pain.

Install forcats with:

install.packages("forcats")

forcats provides two main types of tools to change either the values or the order of the levels. I’ll call out some of the most important functions below, using using the included gss_cat dataset which contains a selection of categorical variables from the General Social Survey.

library(dplyr)
library(ggplot2)
library(forcats)

gss_cat
#> # A tibble: 21,483 × 9
#>    year       marital   age   race        rincome            partyid
#>   <int>        <fctr> <int> <fctr>         <fctr>             <fctr>
#> 1  2000 Never married    26  White  $8000 to 9999       Ind,near rep
#> 2  2000      Divorced    48  White  $8000 to 9999 Not str republican
#> 3  2000       Widowed    67  White Not applicable        Independent
#> 4  2000 Never married    39  White Not applicable       Ind,near rep
#> 5  2000      Divorced    25  White Not applicable   Not str democrat
#> 6  2000       Married    25  White $20000 - 24999    Strong democrat
#> # ... with 2.148e+04 more rows, and 3 more variables: relig <fctr>,
#> #   denom <fctr>, tvhours <int>

Change level values

You can recode specified factor levels with fct_recode():

gss_cat %>% count(partyid)
#> # A tibble: 10 × 2
#>              partyid     n
#>               <fctr> <int>
#> 1          No answer   154
#> 2         Don't know     1
#> 3        Other party   393
#> 4  Strong republican  2314
#> 5 Not str republican  3032
#> 6       Ind,near rep  1791
#> # ... with 4 more rows

gss_cat %>%
  mutate(partyid = fct_recode(partyid,
    "Republican, strong"    = "Strong republican",
    "Republican, weak"      = "Not str republican",
    "Independent, near rep" = "Ind,near rep",
    "Independent, near dem" = "Ind,near dem",
    "Democrat, weak"        = "Not str democrat",
    "Democrat, strong"      = "Strong democrat"
  )) %>%
  count(partyid)
#> # A tibble: 10 × 2
#>                 partyid     n
#>                  <fctr> <int>
#> 1             No answer   154
#> 2            Don't know     1
#> 3           Other party   393
#> 4    Republican, strong  2314
#> 5      Republican, weak  3032
#> 6 Independent, near rep  1791
#> # ... with 4 more rows

Note that unmentioned levels are left as is, and the order of the levels is preserved.

fct_lump() allows you to lump the rarest (or most common) levels in to a new “other” level. The default behaviour is to collapse the smallest levels in to other, ensuring that it’s still the smallest level. For the religion variable that tells us that Protestants out number all other religions, which is interesting, but we probably want more level.

gss_cat %>% 
  mutate(relig = fct_lump(relig)) %>% 
  count(relig)
#> # A tibble: 2 × 2
#>        relig     n
#>       <fctr> <int>
#> 1      Other 10637
#> 2 Protestant 10846

Alternatively you can supply a number of levels to keep, n, or minimum proportion for inclusion, prop. If you use negative values, fct_lump()will change direction, and combine the most common values while preserving the rarest.

gss_cat %>% 
  mutate(relig = fct_lump(relig, n = 5)) %>% 
  count(relig)
#> # A tibble: 6 × 2
#>        relig     n
#>       <fctr> <int>
#> 1      Other   913
#> 2  Christian   689
#> 3       None  3523
#> 4     Jewish   388
#> 5   Catholic  5124
#> 6 Protestant 10846

gss_cat %>% 
  mutate(relig = fct_lump(relig, prop = -0.10)) %>% 
  count(relig)
#> # A tibble: 12 × 2
#>                     relig     n
#>                    <fctr> <int>
#> 1               No answer    93
#> 2              Don't know    15
#> 3 Inter-nondenominational   109
#> 4         Native american    23
#> 5               Christian   689
#> 6      Orthodox-christian    95
#> # ... with 6 more rows

Change level order

There are four simple helpers for common operations:

  • fct_relevel() is similar to stats::relevel() but allows you to move any number of levels to the front.
  • fct_inorder() orders according to the first appearance of each level.
  • fct_infreq() orders from most common to rarest.
  • fct_rev() reverses the order of levels.

fct_reorder() and fct_reorder2() are useful for visualisations. fct_reorder() reorders the factor levels by another variable. This is useful when you map a categorical variable to position, as shown in the following example which shows the average number of hours spent watching television across religions.

relig <- gss_cat %>%
  group_by(relig) %>%
  summarise(
    age = mean(age, na.rm = TRUE),
    tvhours = mean(tvhours, na.rm = TRUE),
    n = n()
  )

ggplot(relig, aes(tvhours, relig)) + geom_point()
reorder-1ggplot(relig, aes(tvhours, fct_reorder(relig, tvhours))) +
  geom_point()

reorder-2

fct_reorder2() extends the same idea to plots where a factor is mapped to another aesthetic, like colour. The defaults are designed to make legends easier to read for line plots, as shown in the following example looking at marital status by age.

by_age <- gss_cat %>%
  filter(!is.na(age)) %>%
  group_by(age, marital) %>%
  count() %>%
  mutate(prop = n / sum(n))

ggplot(by_age, aes(age, prop)) +
  geom_line(aes(colour = marital))
reorder2-1ggplot(by_age, aes(age, prop)) +
  geom_line(aes(colour = fct_reorder2(marital, age, prop))) +
  labs(colour = "marital")
 reorder2-2

Learning more

You can learn more about forcats in R for data science, and on the forcats website.

Please let me know if you have more factor problems that forcats doesn’t help with!

We’re proud to announce version 1.2.0 of the tibble package. Tibbles are a modern reimagining of the data frame, keeping what time has shown to be effective, and throwing out what is not. Grab the latest version with:

install.packages("tibble")

This is mostly a maintenance release, with the following major changes:

  • More options for adding individual rows and (new!) columns
  • Improved function names
  • Minor tweaks to the output

There are many other small improvements and bug fixes: please see the release notes for a complete list.

Thanks to Jenny Bryan for add_row() and add_column() improvements and ideas, to William Dunlap for pointing out a bug with tibble’s implementation of all.equal(), to Kevin Wright for pointing out a rare bug with glimpse(), and to all the other contributors. Use the issue tracker to submit bugs or suggest ideas, your contributions are always welcome.

Adding rows and columns

There are now more options for adding individual rows, and columns can be added in a similar way, illustrated with this small tibble:

df <- tibble(x = 1:3, y = 3:1)
df
#> # A tibble: 3 × 2
#>       x     y
#>   <int> <int>
#> 1     1     3
#> 2     2     2
#> 3     3     1

The add_row() function allows control over where the new rows are added. In the following example, the row (4, 0) is added before the second row:

df %>% 
  add_row(x = 4, y = 0, .before = 2)
#> # A tibble: 4 × 2
#>       x     y
#>   <dbl> <dbl>
#> 1     1     3
#> 2     4     0
#> 3     2     2
#> 4     3     1

Adding more than one row is now fully supported, although not recommended in general because it can be a bit hard to read.

df %>% 
  add_row(x = 4:5, y = 0:-1)
#> # A tibble: 5 × 2
#>       x     y
#>   <int> <int>
#> 1     1     3
#> 2     2     2
#> 3     3     1
#> 4     4     0
#> 5     5    -1

Columns can now be added in much the same way with the new add_column() function:

df %>% 
  add_column(z = -1:1, w = 0)
#> # A tibble: 3 × 4
#>       x     y     z     w
#>   <int> <int> <int> <dbl>
#> 1     1     3    -1     0
#> 2     2     2     0     0
#> 3     3     1     1     0

It also supports .before and .after arguments:

df %>% 
  add_column(z = -1:1, .after = 1)
#> # A tibble: 3 × 3
#>       x     z     y
#>   <int> <int> <int>
#> 1     1    -1     3
#> 2     2     0     2
#> 3     3     1     1

df %>%  
  add_column(w = 0:2, .before = "x")
#> # A tibble: 3 × 3
#>       w     x     y
#>   <int> <int> <int>
#> 1     0     1     3
#> 2     1     2     2
#> 3     2     3     1

The add_column() function will never alter your existing data: you can’t overwrite existing columns, and you can’t add new observations.

Function names

frame_data() is now tribble(), which stands for “transposed tibble”. The old name still works, but will be deprecated eventually.

tribble(
  ~x, ~y,
   1, "a",
   2, "z"
)
#> # A tibble: 2 × 2
#>       x     y
#>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1     1     a
#> 2     2     z

Output tweaks

We’ve tweaked the output again to use the multiply character × instead of x when printing dimensions (this still renders nicely on Windows.) We surround non-semantic column with backticks, and dttm is now used instead of time to distinguish POSIXt and hms (or difftime) values.

The example below shows the new rendering:

tibble(`date and time` = Sys.time(), time = hms::hms(minutes = 3))
#> # A tibble: 1 × 2
#>       `date and time`     time
#>                <dttm>   <time>
#> 1 2016-08-29 16:48:57 00:03:00

Expect the printed output to continue to evolve in next release. Stay tuned for a new function that reconstructs tribble() calls from existing data frames.

I’m pleased to announce version 1.1.0 of stringr. stringr makes string manipulation easier by using consistent function and argument names, and eliminating options that you don’t need 95% of the time. To get started with stringr, check out the strings chapter in R for data science. Install it with:

install.packages("stringr")

This release is mostly bug fixes, but there are a couple of new features you might care out.

  • There are three new datasets, fruitwords and sentences, to help you practice your regular expression skills:
    str_subset(fruit, "(..)\\1")
    #> [1] "banana"      "coconut"     "cucumber"    "jujube"      "papaya"     
    #> [6] "salal berry"
    head(words)
    #> [1] "a"        "able"     "about"    "absolute" "accept"   "account"
    sentences[1]
    #> [1] "The birch canoe slid on the smooth planks."
  • More functions work with boundary()str_detect() and str_subset() can detect boundaries, and str_extract() and str_extract_all() pull out the components between boundaries. This is particularly useful if you want to extract logical constructs like words or sentences.
    x <- "This is harder than you might expect, e.g. punctuation!"
    x %>% str_extract_all(boundary("word")) %>% .[[1]]
    #> [1] "This"        "is"          "harder"      "than"        "you"        
    #> [6] "might"       "expect"      "e.g"         "punctuation"
    x %>% str_extract(boundary("sentence"))
    #> [1] "This is harder than you might expect, e.g. punctuation!"
  • str_view() and str_view_all() create HTML widgets that display regular expression matches. This is particularly useful for teaching.

For a complete list of changes, please see the release notes.

I’m pleased to announce tidyr 0.6.0. tidyr makes it easy to “tidy” your data, storing it in a consistent form so that it’s easy to manipulate, visualise and model. Tidy data has a simple convention: put variables in the columns and observations in the rows. You can learn more about it in the tidy data vignette. Install it with:

install.packages("tidyr")

I mostly released this version to bundle up a number of small tweaks needed for R for Data Science. But there’s one nice new feature, contributed by Jan Schulzdrop_na()drop_na()drops rows containing missing values:

df <- tibble(x = c(1, 2, NA), y = c("a", NA, "b"))
df
#> # A tibble: 3 × 2
#>       x     y
#>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1     1     a
#> 2     2  <NA>
#> 3    NA     b

# Called without arguments, it drops rows containing
# missing values in any variable:
df %>% drop_na()
#> # A tibble: 1 × 2
#>       x     y
#>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1     1     a

# Or you can restrict the variables it looks at, 
# using select() style syntax:
df %>% drop_na(x)
#> # A tibble: 2 × 2
#>       x     y
#>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1     1     a
#> 2     2  <NA>

Please see the release notes for a complete list of changes.