There are situations where we are working with character strings extracted from various sources and it can be annoying when there is white space at the beginning and/or end of the strings. This whitespace can cause problems when attemping to sort, subset or various other common operations.
The stringr package has a handy function str_trim (edited) that comes to the rescue and is straightforward to use. First up make sure that the package is available in the R session:
Here is a basic example with a simple string:
> " This is an example of whitespace. "  " This is an example of whitespace. " > str_trim(" This is an example of whitespace. ")  "This is an example of whitespace."
As we can see this is very simple and is set up to work on a vector of character strings as well.