get the length of a string in R

Find the Length of a String in R (With Examples)

The R programming language comes with a number of built-in functions to work with character strings. In this tutorial, we will look at one such function that helps us get the length of a string in R with the help of some examples.

How to find the length of a string in R?

get the length of a string in R

You can use the built-in nchar() function to get the length of a string in R. Pass the string as an argument to the function.

The following is the syntax –

# length of string s

The nchar() function returns the number of characters in the string (which is the same as the length of the string).


Let’s now look at some examples of using the above syntax.

Length of a string using nchar()

Let’s apply the nchar() function on a string, for example, “Avengers Endgame”.

# create a string
s <- "Avengers Endgame"
# get length of s


[1] 16

We get 16 as the length of the string “Avengers Endgame”. This is the correct length since there is a total of 16 characters in the above string.

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Length of each string in a vector

If you apply the nchar() function to a string vector, it will return a vector with the length of each corresponding string in the vector.

Let’s look at an example.

# create a vector of strings
vec <- c("you", "are", "my", "fire")
# get length of each string in vec


[1] 3 3 2 4

You can see that we get the length of each string the vector vec with the nchar() function.

What if the string vector has NA values?

Let’s find out.

This time, we’ll add some NA values to the above vector and then apply the nchar() function.

# create a vector of strings with some NA values
vec <- c("you", "are", NA, "my", "fire", NA)
# get length of each string in vec


[1]  3  3 NA  2  4 NA

We get the length for each valid string and NA for the NAs in the above vector.

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  • Piyush Raj

    Piyush is a data professional passionate about using data to understand things better and make informed decisions. He has experience working as a Data Scientist in the consulting domain and holds an engineering degree from IIT Roorkee. His hobbies include watching cricket, reading, and working on side projects.

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