Simple Tools for Examining and Cleaning Dirty Data

The main janitor functions can: perfectly format data.frame column names; provide quick counts of variable combinations (i.e., frequency tables and crosstabs); and isolate duplicate records. Other janitor functions nicely format the tabulation results. These tabulate-and-report functions approximate popular features of SPSS and Microsoft Excel. This package follows the principles of the "tidyverse" and works well with the pipe function %>%. janitor was built with beginning-to-intermediate R users in mind and is optimized for user-friendliness. Advanced R users can already do everything covered here, but with janitor they can do it faster and save their thinking for the fun stuff.

from 50 percent to 80 percent of their time mired in this more mundane labor of collecting and preparing unruly digital data, before it can be explored for useful nuggets.

– *“For Big-Data Scientists, ‘Janitor Work’ Is Key Hurdle to Insight

  • The New York Times, 2014*

Travis-CI BuildStatus CoverageStatus lifecycle CRAN_Status_Badge !Monthly Downloads !Downloads

janitor has simple functions for examining and cleaning dirty data. It was built with beginning and intermediate R users in mind and is optimized for user-friendliness. Advanced R users can already do everything covered here, but with janitor they can do it faster and save their thinking for the fun stuff.

The main janitor functions:

  • perfectly format data.frame column names;
  • create and format frequency tables of one, two, or three variables - think an improved table(); and
  • isolate partially-duplicate records.

The tabulate-and-report functions approximate popular features of SPSS and Microsoft Excel.

janitor is a #tidyverse-oriented package. Specifically, it plays nicely with the %>% pipe and is optimized for cleaning data brought in with the readr and readxl packages.


You can install:

  • the most recent officially-released version from CRAN with

  • the latest development version from GitHub with


Using janitor

A full description of each function, organized by topic, can be found in janitor’s catalog of functions vignette. There you will find functions not mentioned in this README, like compare_df_cols() which provides a summary of differences in column names and types when given a set of data.frames.

Below are quick examples of how janitor tools are commonly used.

Cleaning dirty data

Take this roster of teachers at a fictional American high school, stored in the Microsoft Excel file dirty_data.xlsx: All kinds of dirty.

Dirtiness includes:

  • Dreadful column names
  • Rows and columns containing Excel formatting but no data
  • Dates stored as numbers
  • Values spread inconsistently over the “Certification” columns

Here’s that data after being read in to R:

library(pacman) # for loading packages
p_load(readxl, janitor, dplyr, here)
roster_raw <- read_excel(here("dirty_data.xlsx")) # available at
#> Observations: 13
#> Variables: 11
#> $ `First Name`        <chr> "Jason", "Jason", "Alicia", "Ada", "Desus", "Chien-Shiung", "Chien-Shiung", N...
#> $ `Last Name`         <chr> "Bourne", "Bourne", "Keys", "Lovelace", "Nice", "Wu", "Wu", NA, "Joyce", "Lam...
#> $ `Employee Status`   <chr> "Teacher", "Teacher", "Teacher", "Teacher", "Administration", "Teacher", "Tea...
#> $ Subject             <chr> "PE", "Drafting", "Music", NA, "Dean", "Physics", "Chemistry", NA, "English",...
#> $ `Hire Date`         <dbl> 39690, 39690, 37118, 27515, 41431, 11037, 11037, NA, 32994, 27919, 42221, 347...
#> $ `% Allocated`       <dbl> 0.75, 0.25, 1.00, 1.00, 1.00, 0.50, 0.50, NA, 0.50, 0.50, NA, NA, 0.80
#> $ `Full time?`        <chr> "Yes", "Yes", "Yes", "Yes", "Yes", "Yes", "Yes", NA, "No", "No", "No", "No", ...
#> $ `do not edit! --->` <lgl> NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA
#> $ Certification       <chr> "Physical ed", "Physical ed", "Instr. music", "PENDING", "PENDING", "Science ...
#> $ Certification__1    <chr> "Theater", "Theater", "Vocal music", "Computers", NA, "Physics", "Physics", N...
#> $ Certification__2    <lgl> NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA

Excel formatting led to an untitled empty column and 5 empty rows at the bottom of the table (only 12 records have any actual data). Bad column names are preserved.

Clean it with janitor functions:

roster <- roster_raw %>%
  clean_names() %>%
  remove_empty(c("rows", "cols")) %>%
  mutate(hire_date = excel_numeric_to_date(hire_date),
         cert = coalesce(certification, certification_1)) %>% # from dplyr
  select(-certification, -certification_1) # drop unwanted columns
#> # A tibble: 12 x 8
#>    first_name   last_name employee_status subject    hire_date  percent_allocated full_time cert          
#>    <chr>        <chr>     <chr>           <chr>      <date>                 <dbl> <chr>     <chr>         
#>  1 Jason        Bourne    Teacher         PE         2008-08-30              0.75 Yes       Physical ed   
#>  2 Jason        Bourne    Teacher         Drafting   2008-08-30              0.25 Yes       Physical ed   
#>  3 Alicia       Keys      Teacher         Music      2001-08-15              1    Yes       Instr. music  
#>  4 Ada          Lovelace  Teacher         <NA>       1975-05-01              1    Yes       PENDING       
#>  5 Desus        Nice      Administration  Dean       2013-06-06              1    Yes       PENDING       
#>  6 Chien-Shiung Wu        Teacher         Physics    1930-03-20              0.5  Yes       Science 6-12  
#>  7 Chien-Shiung Wu        Teacher         Chemistry  1930-03-20              0.5  Yes       Science 6-12  
#>  8 James        Joyce     Teacher         English    1990-05-01              0.5  No        English 6-12  
#>  9 Hedy         Lamarr    Teacher         Science    1976-06-08              0.5  No        PENDING       
#> 10 Carlos       Boozer    Coach           Basketball 2015-08-05             NA    No        Physical ed   
#> 11 Young        Boozer    Coach           <NA>       1995-01-01             NA    No        Political sci.
#> 12 Micheal      Larsen    Teacher         English    2009-09-15              0.8  No        Vocal music

The core janitor cleaning function is clean_names() - call it whenever you load data into R.

Examining dirty data

Finding duplicates

Use get_dupes() to identify and examine duplicate records during data cleaning. Let’s see if any teachers are listed more than once:

roster %>% get_dupes(first_name, last_name)
#> # A tibble: 4 x 9
#>   first_name   last_name dupe_count employee_status subject   hire_date  percent_allocat~ full_time cert      
#>   <chr>        <chr>          <int> <chr>           <chr>     <date>                <dbl> <chr>     <chr>     
#> 1 Chien-Shiung Wu                 2 Teacher         Physics   1930-03-20             0.5  Yes       Science 6~
#> 2 Chien-Shiung Wu                 2 Teacher         Chemistry 1930-03-20             0.5  Yes       Science 6~
#> 3 Jason        Bourne             2 Teacher         PE        2008-08-30             0.75 Yes       Physical ~
#> 4 Jason        Bourne             2 Teacher         Drafting  2008-08-30             0.25 Yes       Physical ~

Yes, some teachers appear twice. We ought to address this before counting employees.

Tabulating tools

A variable (or combinations of two or three variables) can be tabulated with tabyl(). The resulting data.frame can be tweaked and formatted with the suite of adorn_ functions for quick analysis and printing of pretty results in a report. adorn_ functions can be helpful with non-tabyls, too.

tabyl can be called two ways:

  • On a vector, when tabulating a single variable - e.g., tabyl(roster$subject)
  • On a data.frame, specifying 1, 2, or 3 variable names to tabulate : roster %>% tabyl(subject, employee_status).
    • Here the data.frame is passed in with the %>% pipe; this allows tabyl to be used in an analysis pipeline


Like table(), but pipe-able, data.frame-based, and fully featured.

One variable:

roster %>%
#>     subject n    percent valid_percent
#>  Basketball 1 0.08333333           0.1
#>   Chemistry 1 0.08333333           0.1
#>        Dean 1 0.08333333           0.1
#>    Drafting 1 0.08333333           0.1
#>     English 2 0.16666667           0.2
#>       Music 1 0.08333333           0.1
#>          PE 1 0.08333333           0.1
#>     Physics 1 0.08333333           0.1
#>     Science 1 0.08333333           0.1
#>        <NA> 2 0.16666667            NA

Two variables:

roster %>%
  filter(hire_date > as.Date("1950-01-01")) %>%
  tabyl(employee_status, full_time)
#>  employee_status No Yes
#>   Administration  0   1
#>            Coach  2   0
#>          Teacher  3   4

Three variables:

roster %>%
  tabyl(full_time, subject, employee_status, show_missing_levels = FALSE)
#> $Administration
#>  full_time Dean
#>        Yes    1
#> $Coach
#>  full_time Basketball NA_
#>         No          1   1
#> $Teacher
#>  full_time Chemistry Drafting English Music PE Physics Science NA_
#>         No         0        0       2     0  0       0       1   0
#>        Yes         1        1       0     1  1       1       0   1
Adorning tabyls

The adorn_ functions dress up the results of these tabulation calls for fast, basic reporting. Here are some of the functions that augment a summary table for reporting:

roster %>%
  tabyl(employee_status, full_time) %>%
  adorn_totals("row") %>%
  adorn_percentages("row") %>%
  adorn_pct_formatting() %>%
  adorn_ns() %>%
#>  employee_status/full_time         No        Yes
#>             Administration   0.0% (0) 100.0% (1)
#>                      Coach 100.0% (2)   0.0% (0)
#>                    Teacher  33.3% (3)  66.7% (6)
#>                      Total  41.7% (5)  58.3% (7)

Pipe that right into knitr::kable() in your RMarkdown report.

These modular adornments can be layered to reduce R’s deficit against Excel and SPSS when it comes to quick, informative counts.

Contact me

You are welcome to:


janitor 1.2.0 (2019-04-20)

Major features

  • The new function make_clean_names() takes a character vector and returns the cleaned text, with the same functionality as the existing clean_names(), which runs on a data.frame, manipulating its names. (#197, thanks @tazinho and everyone who contributed to the discussion).

This function can be supplied as a value for the .name_repair argument of as_tibble() in the tibble package. For example: as_tibble(iris, .name_repair = make_clean_names).

  • The new function compare_df_cols() compares the names and classes of columns in a set of supplied data.frames or tibbles, reporting on the specific columns that are or are not similar. This is for the common use case where a set of data files should all have the same specifications but, in practice, may not. A companion function compare_df_cols_same() gives a TRUE/FALSE result indicating if the columns are the same (and therefore bindable, though FALSE is not definitive that binding will fail).

    • Its helper function describe_class() is exported for developers who wish to extend it so that the compare_df_ functions treat their custom classes appropriately.

This feature (#50) took almost 3 years from conception to implementation. Major thanks to @billdenney for making it happen!

  • A new function round_to_fraction() allows rounding to a fraction with specified denominator, e.g., to the nearest 1/7 (#235, thanks to @billdenney for suggesting & implementing).

  • The functions janitor::chisq.test() and janitor::fisher.test() to enable running these statistical tests from the base stats package on two-way tabyl objects. While the package loading message says the base functions are masked, the base tests still run on table objects (#255, thanks @juba for implementing).

  • remove_empty() now has a companion function remove_constant() which removes columns containing only a single unique value, optionally ignoring NA (#222, thanks to @billdenney for suggesting & implementing).

Minor features

  • excel_numeric_to_date() now returns a POSIXct object and includes a time zone. (#225, thanks to @billdenney for the feature.)

  • clean_names() can now be called on a simple features object from the sf package. (#247, thanks to @JosiahParry for suggesting & implementing.)

  • adorn_totals() gains an argument "name" that allows the user to specify a value other than "Total" to appear as the name of the added row and/or column (#263). Thanks to @StephieLaPugh for suggesting and @daniel-barnett for implementing.

  • remove_empty() and remove_constant() now work with matrices (returning a matrix). (#215) Thanks to @jsta for reporting and @billdenney for patching.

  • If the third variable in a three-way tabyl is a factor, the resulting list is sorted in order of its levels (#250). Empty factor levels in the 3rd variable are still omitted regardless of the value of show_missing_levels.

Bug fixes

  • excel_numeric_to_date() no longer gives an overflow error for integer input (for dates since 1968). (#241) Thanks to @hideaki for reporting and @billdenney for patching.

  • clean_names() and make_clean_names() now support 'none' as a case option, passed through to snakecase::to_any_case(). (#269) Thanks to @andrewbarros for reporting and patching.

janitor 1.1.1 (2018-07-30)

Release summary

Patches a bug introduced in version 1.1.0 where excel_numeric_to_date() would fail if given an input vector containing an NA value.

Bug fixes

  • excel_numeric_to_date() again handles NA correctly, in version 1.1.0 the function would error if any values of the input vector were NA. (#220). Thanks @emilelatour for reporting and @billdenney for patching.

janitor 1.1.0 (2018-07-17)

Release summary

This release was requested by CRAN to address some minor package dependency issues. It also contains several updates and additions described below.

Major Features

The new function row_to_names() handles the case where a dirty data file is read in with its names stored as a row of the data.frame, rather than in the names. This function sets the names of the data.frame to this row and optionally cleans up the rows above and including where the names were stored. Thanks to @billdenney for writing this feature.

Minor features

excel_numeric_to_date() can now convert fractions of a day to time, e.g., excel_numeric_to_date(43001.01, include_time = TRUE) returns the POSIXlt value "2017-09-23 00:14:24". Thanks to @billdenney.

Breaking changes

As part of excel_numeric_to_date() now handling times, if a Date-only result is requested (the default behavior of include_time = FALSE), any fractional part of the date is now removed. The printed date itself is identical, but the internal representation of this object now contains only the integer part of the date. For example, while under both the old and new versions of this function the call excel_numeric_to_date_old(42001.1) would return the Date object "2014-12-28", calling as.numeric on this Date result would previously return 16432.1, while now it returns 16432.

This an improved behavior, as now excel_numeric_to_date(42001.1, include_time = FALSE) == as.Date("2014-12-28") returns TRUE, while previously it would appear to be equivalent from the printed value but this comparison would return FALSE.

janitor 1.0.0 (2018-03-17)

Release summary

A stable version 1.0.0, with a new tabyl API and with breaking changes to the output of clean_names().

This builds on the original functionality of janitor, with similar-but-improved tools and significantly-changed implementation.

Breaking changes

A fully-overhauled tabyl

tabyl() is now a single function that can count combinations of one, two, or three variables, ala base R's table(). The resulting tabyl data.frames can be manipulated and formatted using a family of adorn_ functions. See the tabyls vignette for more.

The now-redundant legacy functions crosstab() and adorn_crosstab() have been deprecated, but remain in the package for now. Existing code that relies on the version of tabyl present in janitor versions <= 0.3.1 will break if the sort argument was used, as that argument no longer exists in tabyl (use dplyr::arrange() instead).

Improvements to clean_names

clean_names() now detects and preserves camelCase inputs, allows multiple options for case outputs of the cleaned names, and preserves whether there's space between letters and numbers. It also transliterates accented letters and turns # into "number".

These changes may cause old code to break. E.g., a raw column name variableName would now be converted to variable_name (or variableName, VariableName, etc. depending on your preference), where previously it would have been converted to variablename.

To minimize this inconvenience, there's a quick fix for compatibility: you can find-and-replace to insert the argument case = "old_janitor", preserving the old behavior of clean_names() as of janitor version 0.3.1 (and thus not have to redo your scripts beyond that.)

No further changes are planned to clean_names() and its results should be stable from version 1.0.0 onward.

Major Features

  • clean_names() transliterates accented letters, e.g., çãüœ becomes cauoe (#120). Thanks to @fernandovmacedo.

  • clean_names() offers multiple options for variable name styling. In addition to snake_case output you can select smallCamelCase, BigCamelCase, ALL_CAPS and others. (#131).

    • Thanks to @tazinho, who wrote the snakecase package that janitor depends on to do this, as well as the patch to incorporate it into clean_names(). And thanks to @maelle for proposing this feature.
  • Launched the janitor documentation website: Thanks to the pkgdown package.

  • Deprecated the functions remove_empty_rows() and remove_empty_cols(), which are replaced by the single function remove_empty(). (#100)

    • To encourage transparency, remove_empty() prints a message if no value is supplied for the which argument; to suppress this, supply a value to which, even if it's the default c("rows", "cols").
  • The new adorn_title() function adds the name of the 2nd tabyl variable (i.e., the name of the column variable). This un-tidies the data.frame but makes the result clearer to readers (#77)

Minor Features

Bug fixes

  • adorn_totals("row") handles quirky variable names in 1st column (#118)
  • get_dupes() returns the correct result when a variable in the input data.frame is already called "n" (#162)

janitor 0.3.1 (2018-01-04)

Release summary

This is a bug-fix release with no new functionality or changes. It fixes a bug where adorn_crosstab() failed if the tibble package was version > 1.4.

Major changes to janitor are currently in development on GitHub and will be released soon. This is not that next big release.

janitor 0.3.0 (2017-05-06)

Release summary

The primary purpose of this release is to maintain accuracy given breaking changes to the dplyr package, upon which janitor is built, in dplyr version >0.6.0. This update also contains a number of minor improvements.

Critical: if you update the package dplyr to version >0.6.0, you must update janitor to version 0.3.0 to ensure accurate results from janitor's tabyl() function. This is due to a change in the behavior of dplyr's _join functions (discussed in #111).

janitor 0.3.0 is compatible with this new version of dplyr as well as old versions of dplyr back to 0.5.0. That is, updating janitor to 0.3.0 does not necessitate an update to dplyr >0.6.0.

Breaking changes

  • The functions add_totals_row and add_totals_col were combined into a single function, adorn_totals(). (#57). The add_totals_ functions are now deprecated and should not be used.
  • The first argument of adorn_crosstab() is now "dat" instead of "crosstab" (indicating that the function can be called on any data.frame, not just a result of crosstab())

Major Features

  • Exported the %>% pipe from magrittr (#107).

Deprecated the following functions:

  • use_first_valid_of() - use dplyr::coalesce() instead
  • convert_to_NA() - use dplyr::na_if() instead
  • add_totals_row() and add_totals_col() - replaced by the single function adorn_totals()

Minor Features

  • adorn_totals() and ns_to_percents() can now be called on data.frames that have non-numeric columns beyond the first one (those columns will be ignored) (#57)
  • adorn_totals("col") retains factor class in 1st column if 1st column in the input data.frame was a factor

Bug fixes

  • clean_names() now handles leading spaces (#85)
  • adorn_crosstab() and ns_to_percents() work on a 2-column data.frame (#89)
  • adorn_totals() now works on a grouped tibble (#97)
  • Long variable names with spaces no longer break tabyl() and crosstab() (#87)
  • An NA_ column in the result of a crosstab() will appear at the last column position (#109)

janitor 0.2.1 (2016-10-30)

Bug fixes

  • tabyl() and crosstab() now appear in the package manual (#65)
  • Fixed minor bug per CRAN request - tabyl() and crosstab() failed to retain ill-formatted variable names only when using R 3.2.5 for Windows (#76)
  • add_totals_row() works on two-column data.frame (#69)
  • use_first_valid_of() returns POSIXct-class result when given POSIXct inputs

janitor 0.2.0 (2016-10-03)



Submitted to CRAN!


  • The count in tabyl() for factor levels that aren't present is now 0 instead of NA (#48)

Bug fixes

  • Can call tabyl() on the result of a tabyl(), e.g., mtcars %>% tabyl(mpg) %>% tabyl(n) (#54)
  • get_dupes() now works on variables with spaces in column names (#62)

Package management

  • Reached 100% unit test code coverage

janitor 0.1.2



  • Added a function adorn_crosstab() that formats the results of a crosstab() for pretty printing. Shows % and N in the same cell, with the % symbol, user-specified rounding (method and number of digits), and the option to include a totals row and/or column. E.g., mtcars %>% crosstab(cyl, gear) %>% adorn_crosstab().
  • crosstab() can be called in a %>% pipeline, e.g., mtcars %>% crosstab(cyl, gear). Thanks to @chrishaid (#34)
  • tabyl() can also be called in a %>% pipeline, e.g., mtcars %>% tabyl(cyl) (#35)
  • Added use_first_valid_of() function (#32)
  • Added minor functions for manipulating numeric data.frames for presentation: ns_to_percents(), add_totals_row(), add_totals_col(),


  • crosstab() returns 0 instead of NA when there are no instances of a variable combination.
  • A call like tabyl(df$vecname) retains the more-descriptive $ symbol in the column name of the result - if you want a legal R name in the result, call it as df %>% tabyl(vecname)
  • Single and double quotation marks are handled by clean_names()

Package management

  • Added codecov to measure test coverage
  • Added unit test coverage
  • Added Travis-CI for continuous integration

janitor 0.1 (2016-04-17)

  • Initial draft of skeleton package on GitHub

Reference manual

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1.2.0 by Sam Firke, 2 months ago

Report a bug at

Browse source code at

Authors: Sam Firke [aut, cre] , Bill Denney [ctb] , Chris Haid [ctb] , Ryan Knight [ctb] , Malte Grosser [ctb]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

MIT + file LICENSE license

Imports dplyr, tidyr, snakecase, magrittr, purrr, rlang

Suggests testthat, knitr, rmarkdown, sf, tibble

Imported by ballr, bomrang, congressbr, driftR, moderndive.

Suggested by CGPfunctions, fivethirtyeight, questionr.

See at CRAN