R – subsetting data frame by row index


Why is my last step converting the data frame to a vector? I want to keep the first 6000 observations in the data frame key.

  key <- data.frame(matrix(NA, nrow = 10000, ncol = 1))
  names(key) <- "ID"
  key$ID <- replicate(10000, 
                      rawToChar(as.raw(sample(c(48:57,65:90,97:122), 8, replace=T))))
  key <- unique(key)  # still a data frame
  key <- key[1:6000,] # no longer a data frame

Best Solution

 key1 <- key[1:6000,,drop=F] #should prevent the data.frame from converting to a vector.

According to the documentation of ?Extract.data.frame

drop: logical. If ‘TRUE’ the result is coerced to the lowest possible dimension. The default is to drop if only one column is left, but not to drop if only one row is left.

Or, you could use subset, but usually, this is a bit slower. Here the row.names are numbers from 1 to 10000

 key2 <- subset(key, as.numeric(rownames(key)) <6000)

 #[1] TRUE


 ## S3 method for class 'data.frame'
 subset(x, subset, select, drop = FALSE, ...) #by default it uses drop=F