N.Varela N.Varela - 8 months ago 38
R Question

R: How to sum multiple columns of data frames in a list?

i want to sum multiple columns of data frames in a list and only show the sum without showing the (calculation) input columns. Here an example:

ls <- list(data.frame(a=1, b=5, c=3, d=2), data.frame(a=NA, b=2, c=7, d=9))

a b c d
1 1 5 3 2

a b c d
1 NA 2 7 9

my expected result is:

c new
1 3 8

c new
1 7 11

Any ideas how to do this? So far I tried to enhance this answer for lists, without success and without omiting the input columns (a,b,d). I tried so far lapply:

lapply(ls, function(x) x$e <- rowSums(x[,c("a", "b", "d")], na.rm=T))
ls$e <- lapply(ls, function(x) rowSums(x[,c("a", "b", "d")], na.rm=T))

Thank you in advance

Thanks Aech and Abdou for your answers, which work fine with this example. However, I have >200 columns, do you know a way without writing the columns that will remain? Like deleting the columns that I use for the calculation, instead of naming all columns.

Thanks for your improved code, it works well with the example data. However, with my true data set not... I get the following error:

Error in rowSums(x[, columns_to_sum], na.rm = T) :
'x' must be an array of at least two dimensions"

My list has about 96 matrices with 200 columns and one row. But I don´t know how to prepare a reproducible example of my error. Any ideas?


You should not name your list ls, because ls is a function.

lapply(myList, function(x) data.frame(c=x$c, new = rowSums(x[,c("a", "b", "d")], na.rm=T))) 

Here is a solution where you specify the dropped columns only (after edit):

dropped <- c("a", "b", "d")
lapply(myList, function(x) {
  x$new <- rowSums(x[,dropped], na.rm=T)
  x[!names(x) %in% dropped]