(This article was first published on

**Software for Exploratory Data Analysis and Statistical Modelling » R Environment**, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)There are situations where we are working with character strings extracted from various sources and it can be annoying when there is white space at the beginning and/or end of the strings. This whitespace can cause problems when attemping to sort, subset or various other common operations.

The **stringr** package has a handy function **str_trim** (edited) that comes to the rescue and is straightforward to use. First up make sure that the package is available in the **R** session:

require(stringr) |

Here is a basic example with a simple string:

> " This is an example of whitespace. " [1] " This is an example of whitespace. " > str_trim(" This is an example of whitespace. ") [1] "This is an example of whitespace." |

As we can see this is very simple and is set up to work on a vector of character strings as well.

Other useful resources are provided on the Supplementary Material page. Visit here for more examples of string manipulation.

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