Re: [R] looping through data frames in a workspace

From: Richard Cotton <>
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2008 01:48:26 -0800 (PST)

lucy b wrote:
> I have a workspace containing only data frame objects. I would like to
> loop though each one and clean-up text columns in them. How can I have
> R loop through the list? I have tried to find an answer in R help but
> the closest solution I can find is to make a static list of data
> frames, as illustrated in this recent post:
> ...
> I would like to avoid having to type-out a very long list over and
> over again. I have tried every variation I could think of similar to:
> for(df in list(noquote(ls()))) {
> do stuff with df
> }

If you name your data frames consistently (e.g. df1, df2, df3 etc.), then you can access them using mget:

df1 <- data.frame(a=runif(10), b=letters[1:10])
df2 <- data.frame(c=rnorm(5))
df3 <- data.frame(11:20)

dataframes <- mget(paste("df", 1:3, sep=""), envir=.GlobalEnv)

Alternatively, if you want every dataframe in your workspace, try: vars <- ls()
nvars <- length(vars)
dataframes <-list()
j <- 1
for(i in 1:nvars)

        dataframes[[j]] <- get(vars[i])
        names(dataframes)[j] <- vars[i]
        j <- j+1



Mathematical Sciences Unit

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