stringi (version 1.8.2)

stri_wrap: Word Wrap Text to Format Paragraphs


This function breaks text paragraphs into lines, of total width (if it is possible) at most given width.


  width = floor(0.9 * getOption("width")),
  cost_exponent = 2,
  simplify = TRUE,
  normalize = TRUE,
  normalise = normalize,
  indent = 0,
  exdent = 0,
  prefix = "",
  initial = prefix,
  whitespace_only = FALSE,
  use_length = FALSE,
  locale = NULL


If simplify is TRUE, then a character vector is returned. Otherwise, you will get a list of length(str) character vectors.



character vector of strings to reformat


single integer giving the suggested maximal total width/number of code points per line


single numeric value, values not greater than zero will select a greedy word-wrapping algorithm; otherwise this value denotes the exponent in the cost function of a (more aesthetic) dynamic programming-based algorithm (values in [2, 3] are recommended)


single logical value, see Value


single logical value, see Details


alias of normalize


single non-negative integer; gives the indentation of the first line in each paragraph


single non-negative integer; specifies the indentation of subsequent lines in paragraphs

prefix, initial

single strings; prefix is used as prefix for each line except the first, for which initial is utilized


single logical value; allow breaks only at white-spaces? if FALSE, ICU's line break iterator is used to split text into words, which is suitable for natural language processing


single logical value; should the number of code points be used instead of the total code point width (see stri_width)?


NULL or '' for text boundary analysis following the conventions of the default locale, or a single string with locale identifier, see stringi-locale


Marek Gagolewski and other contributors


Vectorized over str.

If whitespace_only is FALSE, then ICU's line-BreakIterator is used to determine text boundaries where a line break is possible. This is a locale-dependent operation. Otherwise, the breaks are only at white-spaces.

Note that Unicode code points may have various widths when printed on the console and that this function, by default, takes that into account. By changing the state of the use_length argument, this function starts to act as if each code point was of width 1.

If normalize is FALSE, then multiple white spaces between the word boundaries are preserved within each wrapped line. In such a case, none of the strings can contain \r, \n, or other new line characters, otherwise you will get an error. You should split the input text into lines or, for example, substitute line breaks with spaces before applying this function.

If normalize is TRUE, then all consecutive white space (ASCII space, horizontal TAB, CR, LF) sequences are replaced with single ASCII spaces before actual string wrapping. Moreover, stri_split_lines and stri_trans_nfc is called on the input character vector. This is for compatibility with strwrap.

The greedy algorithm (for cost_exponent being non-positive) provides a very simple way for word wrapping. It always puts as many words in each line as possible. This method -- contrary to the dynamic algorithm -- does not minimize the number of space left at the end of every line. The dynamic algorithm (a.k.a. Knuth's word wrapping algorithm) is more complex, but it returns text wrapped in a more aesthetic way. This method minimizes the squared (by default, see cost_exponent) number of spaces (raggedness) at the end of each line, so the text is mode arranged evenly. Note that the cost of printing the last line is always zero.


D.E. Knuth, M.F. Plass, Breaking paragraphs into lines, Software: Practice and Experience 11(11), 1981, pp. 1119--1184.

See Also

The official online manual of stringi at

Gagolewski M., stringi: Fast and portable character string processing in R, Journal of Statistical Software 103(2), 2022, 1-59, tools:::Rd_expr_doi("10.18637/jss.v103.i02")

Other locale_sensitive: %s<%(), about_locale, about_search_boundaries, about_search_coll, stri_compare(), stri_count_boundaries(), stri_duplicated(), stri_enc_detect2(), stri_extract_all_boundaries(), stri_locate_all_boundaries(), stri_opts_collator(), stri_order(), stri_rank(), stri_sort_key(), stri_sort(), stri_split_boundaries(), stri_trans_tolower(), stri_unique()

Other text_boundaries: about_search_boundaries, about_search, stri_count_boundaries(), stri_extract_all_boundaries(), stri_locate_all_boundaries(), stri_opts_brkiter(), stri_split_boundaries(), stri_split_lines(), stri_trans_tolower()


Run this code
s <- stri_paste(
   'Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Proin ',
   'nibh augue, suscipit a, scelerisque sed, lacinia in, mi. Cras vel ',
   'lorem. Etiam pellentesque aliquet tellus.')
cat(stri_wrap(s, 20, 0.0), sep='\n') # greedy
cat(stri_wrap(s, 20, 2.0), sep='\n') # dynamic
cat(stri_pad(stri_wrap(s), side='both'), sep='\n')

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