5.3 Creating tibbles

How can we create tibbles from other rectangular data structures (e.g., vectors or data frames)? And what can we do not yet have another rectangular table, but want to create a tibble from scratch?

Tibbles are simple data tables and the primary way of representing data (in rows of cases and columns of variables) in the tidyverse (Wickham, 2019b). Internally, tibbles are a special, simplified form of a data frame.

Key tibble functions include:

  • as_tibble() converts (or coerces) an existing rectangle of data (e.g., a data frame or matrix) into a tibble.

  • tibble() converts several vectors into (the columns of) a tibble.

  • tribble() converts a table (entered row-by-row) into a tibble.

Thus, the three functions differ by the types of inputs they expect, but have in common that they create a tibble as their output.

While some R veterans may prefer data frames, tibbles are becoming increasingly popular. But if we ever need to transform a tibble tb into a data frame, we can always use as.data.frame(tb).

As these topics are covered in Chapter 5: Tibbles of the ds4psy book (Neth, 2022a), the rest of this section only contains some excerpts and examples. More details are available at the following sections:


Neth, H. (2022a). Data science for psychologists. Social Psychology; Decision Sciences, University of Konstanz. https://bookdown.org/hneth/ds4psy/
Wickham, H. (2019b). tidyverse: Easily install and load the ’tidyverse’. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=tidyverse