[R] Way to convert data frame to matrix

From: Wade Wall <wade.wall_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sat 01 Jul 2006 - 00:11:15 EST

  I have a text file that I have imported into R. It contains 3 columns and 316940 rows. The first column is vegetation plot ID, the second species names and the third is a cover value (numeric). I imported using the read.table function.

My problem is this. I need to reformat the information as a matrix, with the first column becoming the row labels and the second the column labels and the cover values as the matrix cell data. However, since the read.tablefunction imported the data as an indexed data frame, I can't use the columns
as vectors. Is there a way around this, to convert the data frame as 3 separate vectors? I have been looking all over for a function, and my programming skills are not great.

Thanks in advance

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