Edit Data Frames and Matrices

Use data editor on data frame or matrix contents.

# S3 method for data.frame
edit(name, factor.mode = c("character", "numeric"),
     edit.row.names = any(row.names(name) != 1:nrow(name)), …)

# S3 method for matrix edit(name, edit.row.names = !is.null(dn[[1]]), …)


A data frame or (numeric, logical or character) matrix.


How to handle factors (as integers or using character levels) in a data frame. Can be abbreviated.


logical. Show the row names (if they exist) be displayed as a separate editable column? It is an error to ask for this on a matrix with NULL row names.

further arguments passed to or from other methods.


At present, this only works on simple data frames containing numeric, logical or character vectors and factors, and numeric, logical or character matrices. Any other mode of matrix will give an error, and a warning is given when the matrix has a class (which will be discarded).

Data frame columns are coerced on input to character unless numeric (in the sense of is.numeric), logical or factor. A warning is given when classes are discarded. Special characters (tabs, non-printing ASCII, etc.) will be displayed as escape sequences.

Factors columns are represented in the spreadsheet as either numeric vectors (which are more suitable for data entry) or character vectors (better for browsing). After editing, vectors are padded with NA to have the same length and factor attributes are restored. The set of factor levels can not be changed by editing in numeric mode; invalid levels are changed to NA and a warning is issued. If new factor levels are introduced in character mode, they are added at the end of the list of levels in the order in which they encountered.

It is possible to use the data-editor's facilities to select the mode of columns to swap between numerical and factor columns in a data frame. Changing any column in a numerical matrix to character will cause the result to be coerced to a character matrix. Changing the mode of logical columns is not supported.

For a data frame, the row names will be taken from the original object if edit.row.names = FALSE and the number of rows is unchanged, and from the edited output if edit.row.names = TRUE and there are no duplicates. (If the row.names column is incomplete, it is extended by entries like row223.) In all other cases the row names are replaced by seq(length = nrows).

For a matrix, colnames will be added (of the form col7) if needed. The rownames will be taken from the original object if edit.row.names = FALSE and the number of rows is unchanged (otherwise NULL), and from the edited output if edit.row.names = TRUE. (If the row.names column is incomplete, it is extended by entries like row223.)

Editing a matrix or data frame will lose all attributes apart from the row and column names.


The edited data frame or matrix.


fix(dataframe) works for in-place editing by calling this function.

If the data editor is not available, a dump of the object is presented for editing using the default method of edit.

At present the data editor is limited to 65535 rows.

See Also

data.entry, edit

  • edit.data.frame
  • edit.matrix
library(utils) edit(InsectSprays) edit(InsectSprays, factor.mode = "numeric")
Documentation reproduced from package utils, version 3.4.1, License: Part of R 3.4.1

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