## gsub to remove unwanted precision

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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=",")
input

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

##### Demo

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:

```paste(
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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##### Comments
• 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