How to Create Tables in R (With Examples)


There are two ways to quickly create tables in R:

Method 1: Create a table from existing data.

tab <- table(df$row_variable, df$column_variable)

Method 2: Create a table from scratch.

tab <- matrix(c(7, 5, 14, 19, 3, 2, 17, 6, 12), ncol=3, byrow=TRUE)
colnames(tab) <- c('colName1','colName2','colName3')
rownames(tab) <- c('rowName1','rowName2','rowName3')
tab <- as.table(tab)

This tutorial shows an example of how to create a table using each of these methods.

Create a Table from Existing Data

The following code shows how to create a table from existing data:

#make this example reproducible
set.seed(1)

#define data
df <- data.frame(team=rep(c('A', 'B', 'C', 'D'), each=4),
                 pos=rep(c('G', 'F'), times=8),
                 points=round(runif(16, 4, 20),0))

#view head of data 
head(df)

  team pos points
1    A   G      8
2    A   F     10
3    A   G     13
4    A   F     19
5    B   G      7
6    B   F     18

#create table with 'position' as rows and 'team' as columns
tab1 <- table(df$pos, df$team)
tab1

  A B C D
F 2 2 2 2
G 2 2 2 2

This table displays the frequencies for each combination of team and position. For example:

  • 2 players are on position ‘F’ on team ‘A’
  • 2 players are on position ‘G’ on team ‘A’
  • 2 players are on position ‘F’ on team ‘B’
  • 2 players are on position ‘G’ on team ‘B’

And so on.

Create a Table from Scratch

The following code shows how to create a table with 4 columns a 2 rows from scratch:

#create matrix with 4 columns
tab <- matrix(rep(2, times=8), ncol=4, byrow=TRUE)

#define column names and row names of matrix
colnames(tab) <- c('A', 'B', 'C', 'D')
rownames(tab) <- c('F', 'G')

#convert matrix to table 
tab <- as.table(tab)

#view table 
tab

  A B C D
F 2 2 2 2
G 2 2 2 2

Notice that this table is the exact same as the one created in the previous example.

Additional Resources

How to Loop Through Column Names in R
How to Create an Empty Data Frame in R
How to Append Rows to a Data Frame in R

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2 Replies to “How to Create Tables in R (With Examples)”

  1. Thank you for this tutorial. Alas, I like neither method. Often I have tiny, and I mean tiny, little personal projects. For example, sometimes I let my hot tub temperature decline to save electricity. I start the reheating process and I take a couple of time points to figure out its rate of heating. I then have about 5 time points (time, temperature). It is easiest to enter in a table rather than futzing with typed out vectors. At a future date I will probably do it again and thus append date to the table. One way to do this would be to open a spreadsheet (eg LibreOffice on desktop or googlesheets on web) and then import from there. However, I think it would be easier to create from something such as the editData package or the DataEditR package. Are either of those packages useful for creating the table?

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