Comparing namedCapture with other R packages for regular expressions

Regular expressions are powerful tools for manipulating non-tabular textual data. For many tasks (visualization, machine learning, etc), tables of numbers must be extracted from such data before processing by other R functions. We present the R package namedCapture, which facilitates such tasks by providing a new user-friendly syntax for defining regular expressions in R code. We begin by describing the history of regular expressions and their usage in R. We then describe the new features of the namedCapture package, and provide detailed comparisons with related R packages (rex, stringr, stringi, tidyr, rematch2, re2r).

Toby Dylan Hocking

Supplementary materials

Supplementary materials are available in addition to this article. It can be downloaded at

CRAN packages used

namedCapture, rex, stringr, stringi, tidyr, rematch2, re2r, microbenchmark

CRAN Task Views implied by cited packages



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For attribution, please cite this work as

Hocking, "Comparing namedCapture with other R packages for regular expressions", The R Journal, 2019

BibTeX citation

  author = {Hocking, Toby Dylan},
  title = {Comparing namedCapture with other R packages for regular expressions},
  journal = {The R Journal},
  year = {2019},
  note = {},
  doi = {10.32614/RJ-2019-050},
  volume = {11},
  issue = {2},
  issn = {2073-4859},
  pages = {328-346}