A dataframe in R is a data structure used to store data in a tabular form – in rows and columns. In this tutorial, we will look at how to get the first n rows of an R dataframe with the help of some examples.

## How to extract the first n rows in R?

You can use the `head()`

function in R to extract the first n rows of a dataframe. Pass the dataframe and n (the number of rows you want from the start) as arguments to the `head()`

function.

The following is the syntax –

# get first n rows head(dataframe, n)

If you do not pass a value for `n`

, the `head()`

function returns the first 6 rows of the dataframe by default.

## Steps to get the first n rows of a dataframe in R

Let’s now look at a step-by-step example to show the usage of the syntax mentioned above.

### Step 1 – Create a dataframe

First, we will create a dataframe that we will be using throughout this tutorial.

# create a dataframe employees_df = data.frame( "Name"= c("Jim", "Dwight", "Angela", "Tobi", "Kevin", "Meredith", "Creed"), "Age"= c(26, 28, 29, 32, 30, 38, 49), "Department"= c("Sales", "Sales", "Accounting", "HR", "Accounting", "QA", "QA") ) # display the dataframe print(employees_df)

Output:

Name Age Department 1 Jim 26 Sales 2 Dwight 28 Sales 3 Angela 29 Accounting 4 Tobi 32 HR 5 Kevin 30 Accounting 6 Meredith 38 QA 7 Creed 49 QA

We now have a dataframe containing some information about employees in an office. The dataframe has the columns – “Name”, “Age”, and “Department”. Note that the dataframe above has 7 rows.

### Step 2 – Extract the first n rows of dataframe using `head()`

First, let’s use the `head()`

function without specifying a value for n and see what we get.

# head() with default n print(head(employees_df))

Output:

Name Age Department 1 Jim 26 Sales 2 Dwight 28 Sales 3 Angela 29 Accounting 4 Tobi 32 HR 5 Kevin 30 Accounting 6 Meredith 38 QA

We get the first six rows of the dataframe by default from the `head()`

function.

Let’s now pass a custom value for n.

For example, let’s just get the first two rows of the above dataframe.

# first two rows print(head(employees_df, 2))

Output:

Name Age Department 1 Jim 26 Sales 2 Dwight 28 Sales

Here, we specify n as 2 and thus we get the first two rows of the dataframe.

## Summary – Extract first n rows in R

In this tutorial, we looked at how to get the first n rows of a dataframe in R. The following is a short summary of the steps mentioned in this tutorial.

- Create a dataframe (skip this step if you already have a dataframe to operate on).
- Use the
`head()`

function to get the first n rows of the dataframe. Pass the number of rows you want from the top as an argument. If you do not specify n, the`head()`

function returns the first six rows by default.

You might also be interested in –

- How to Create a DataFrame in R?
- How to Add a Row to a Dataframe in R?
- Rename Column Name in R Dataframe

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