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Could anyone please help to achieve the following with gsub in R?

input string: a=5.00,b=120,c=0.0003,d=0.02,e=5.20, f=1200.0,g=850.02
desired output: a=5,b=120,c=0.0003,d=0.02,e=5.2, f=1200, g=850.02

Practically, removing the redundant 0s after the decimal point if they are all just 0s, don't remove if real fractions exist.

I couldn't get this to work using gsub alone, but we can try splitting your input vector on comma, and then using an apply function with gsub:

x <- "a=5.00,b=120,c=0.0003,d=0.02,e=5.20, f=1200.0,g=850.02"
input <- sapply(unlist(strsplit(x, ",")), function(x) gsub("(?<=\\d)\\.$", "", gsub("(\\.[1-9]*)0+$", "\\1", x), perl=TRUE))
input <- paste(input, collapse=",")

[1] "a=5,b=120,c=0.0003,d=0.02,e=5.2, f=1200,g=850.02"


I actually make two calls to gsub. The first call strips off all trailing zeroes appearing after a decimal point, should the number have one. And the second call removes stray decimal points, in the case of a number like 5.00, which the first call would leave as 5. and not 5, the latter which we want.

How can I remove non-numeric characters from strings using gsub , I use the gsub function in R to remove unwanted characters in numbers. So I should remove from the strings every character that is not a number, . , and - . I use the gsub function in R to remove unwanted characters in numbers. So I should remove from the strings every character that is not a number, ., and -.My problem is that the regular expression is not removing some non-numeric characters like d, +, and <.

To remove trailing 0s after the decimal, try this:

EDIT Forgot 5.00

x = c('5.00', '0.500', '120', '0.0003', '0.02', '5.20', '1200', '850.02')
gsub("\\.$" "", gsub("(\\.(|[1-9]+))0+$", "\\1", x))
# [1] "5"    "0.5"    "120"    "0.0003" "0.02"   "5.2"    "1200"   "850.02"

HT @TimBiegeleisen: I misread input as a vector of strings. For a single-string input, convert to vector of strings, which you can call gsub on, then collapse output back to a single string:

    gsub("\\.$", "", gsub("(\\.(|[1-9]+))0+$", "\\1",
    unlist(strsplit(x, ", ")))), 
        collapse=", ")

[1] "a=5, b=0.5, c=120, d=0.0003, e=0.02, f=5.2, g=1200, h=850.02"

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  • My feeling is that this is something which should be handled by, e.g. casting, your numerical values and then rendering them the way you want. gsub is probably not the best tool to use here.
  • Something like gsub("(\\.[1-9]+)0+$", "\\1", input_string)?
  • @juan 5.00 becomes 5 with no decimal point.
  • Yep, caught and edited as I posted
  • @ Juan: this outputs: "a=5.00,b=120,c=0.0003,d=0.02,e=5.20, f=1200.0,g=850.02"
  • Nice use of apply and look behind regex
  • You left out the 5.00 in the OP's original data. That should become 5 but does not with this code.
  • This still has the problem that you are operating on a vector, and not the original string input.
  • Ah, ok. I misunderstood. I didn't realize it was a single string!
  • But I'll upvote you, because your replacement logic looks sound if we only wanted to tweak a single number. I did an strsplit to get the vector your answer assumes, then joined it back using paste with collapse.
  • Thanks @TimBiegeleisen Yep, if I'd read more carefully, I would've thrown a strsplit and paste combo in