sort.data.frame

August 15, 2014
By

(This article was first published on Mark van der Loo, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I came accross this post on SO, where several solutions to sorting data.frames are presented. It must have been solved a million times, but here’s a solution I like to use. It benefits from the fact that sort is an S3 generic.

sort.data.frame <- function(x, decreasing=FALSE, by=1, ... ){
  f <- function(...) order(...,decreasing=decreasing)
  i <- do.call(f,x[by])
  x[i,,drop=FALSE]
}

It sorts on the first column by default, but you may use any vector of valid column indices. Here are some examples.

sort(iris, by="Sepal.Length")
sort(iris, by=c("Species","Sepal.Length"))
sort(iris, by=1:2)
sort(iris, by="Sepal.Length",decreasing=TRUE)

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