Douglas S. Stones Douglas S. Stones - 10 days ago 6
R Question

In R, how can I paste 100000 without it being shortened to 1e+05?


Question: How can I use
paste
without
100000
becoming
1e+05
?


Sorry in advance if this question seems frivolous (but it has resulted in a bug in my code). I use R to call an external script, so when I say e.g.
paste("abc",100000)
I want it to output
"abc 100000"
and not
"abc 1e+05"
.

Here's an example of what it looks like on my screen:

> paste("abc",100000)
[1] "abc 1e+05"
> paste("abc",100001)
[1] "abc 100001"


This results in the bizarre behaviour that my script works for the input "100001" but not "100000".

I realise I could create a script to convert numbers to strings however I like, but I feel I shouldn't do this if there is an internal way to do the same thing (I suspect there is some "method" I'm missing).

[If it helps, I'm on Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS ("precise"), running R version 2.14.1 (2011-12-22) in a terminal.]

Answer

See ?options, particularly scipen:

R> paste("abc", 100000)
[1] "abc 1e+05"
R> options("scipen"=10)    # set high penalty for scientific display
R> paste("abc", 100000)
[1] "abc 100000"
R> 

Alternatively, control formatting tightly the old-school way via sprintf():

R> sprintf("%s %6d", "abc", 100000)
[1] "abc 100000"
R> 
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