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R Escape Characters

Escape Characters

To insert characters that are illegal in a string, you must use an escape character.

An escape character is a backslash \ followed by the character you want to insert.

An example of an illegal character is a double quote inside a string that is surrounded by double quotes:


str <- "We are the so-called "Vikings", from the north."



Error: unexpected symbol in "str <- "We are the so-called "Vikings"
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To fix this problem, use the escape character \":


The escape character allows you to use double quotes when you normally would not be allowed:

str <- "We are the so-called \"Vikings\", from the north."

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Note that auto-printing the str variable will print the backslash in the output. You can use the cat() function to print it without backslash.

Other escape characters in R:

Code Result
\\ Backslash
\n New Line
\r Carriage Return
\t Tab
\b Backspace