Convenient functions for moving files, deleting directories, and a variety of string operations that facilitate manipulating file names and extracting information from strings.

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To install the release version (recommended) from CRAN, in R, enter


To install the development version, in R, first install devtools via install.packages("devtools"). Then enter



First let’s load the library:

#> Loading required package: stringr


Move files around

I find it bizarre that base R has no file.move. To move a file, you have to unintuitively rename it. filesstrings provides file.move(files, destinations). This function has the nice feature that if you try to move files to a directory that doesn’t exist, it creates the directory first and then puts the files inside. Let’s create a directory and a file:

#> [1] TRUE

Now let’s put the file into the directory:

file.move("tmp.txt", "tmp_dir")
#> 1 file moved. 0 failed.

Delete Directories

To delete directories with base R, one has to use unlink(..., recursive = TRUE). The filesstrings package gives you dir.remove() which does the same job.

#> 1 directory deleted. 0 failed to delete.

Remove spaces from file names

“A space in your file name is a hole in your soul.” - Jenny Bryan

remove_filename_spaces(replacement = "_") replaces them all with underscores for all files in a directory. By default, they are replaced with nothing.

file.create(c("file 1.txt", "file 2.txt"))
#> [1] TRUE TRUE
remove_filename_spaces(pattern = "txt$", replacement = "_")
#> 2 files required renaming and this was done successfully.
list.files(pattern = "txt$")
#> [1] "file_1.txt" "file_2.txt"
file.remove(list.files(pattern = "txt$"))  # clean up
#> [1] TRUE TRUE


The nth number in a string

I often want to get the first, last or nth number in a string.

pop <- "A population of 1000 comprised of 488 dogs and 512 cats."
nth_number(pop, n = 1)
#> [1] 1000
nth_number(pop, n = -1)  # last number
#> [1] 512

All the numbers in a string

#> [[1]]
#> [1] 1000  488  512

All the non-numbers in a string

#> [[1]]
#> [1] "A population of " " comprised of "   " dogs and "      
#> [4] " cats."

Trim anything (not just whitespace)

stringr’s str_trim just trims whitespace. What if you want to trim something else? Now you can trim_anything().

trim_anything("__rmarkdown_", "_")
#> [1] "rmarkdown"


Contributions to this package are welcome. The preferred method of contribution is through a github pull request. Feel free to contact me by creating an issue. Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.