Converting a String to a Variable Name On-The-Fly and Vice-versa in R

December 28, 2010
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(This article was first published on johnramey » r, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Recently, I had a professor ask me how to take a string and convert it to an R variable name on-the-fly. One possible way is:

 x <- 42 eval(parse(text = "x")) [1] 42

Now, suppose we want to go the other way. The trick is just as simple:

 x <- 42 deparse(substitute(x)) [1] "x"