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"

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