These functions allow you to select variables based on their names.

  • starts_with(): Starts with a prefix.

  • ends_with(): Ends with a suffix.

  • contains(): Contains a literal string.

  • matches(): Matches a regular expression.

  • num_range(): Matches a numerical range like x01, x02, x03.

  • one_of(): Matches variable names in a character vector.

  • everything(): Matches all variables.

  • last_col(): Select last variable, possibly with an offset.

starts_with(match, = TRUE, vars = peek_vars())

ends_with(match, = TRUE, vars = peek_vars())

contains(match, = TRUE, vars = peek_vars())

matches(match, = TRUE, perl = FALSE, vars = peek_vars())

num_range(prefix, range, width = NULL, vars = peek_vars())

one_of(..., .vars = peek_vars())

everything(vars = peek_vars())

last_col(offset = 0L, vars = peek_vars())



A string.

If TRUE, the default, ignores case when matching names.

vars, .vars

A character vector of variable names. When called from inside selecting functions like dplyr::select() these are automatically set to the names of the table.


Should Perl-compatible regexps be used?


A prefix that starts the numeric range.


A sequence of integers, like 1:5.


Optionally, the "width" of the numeric range. For example, a range of 2 gives "01", a range of three "001", etc.


One or more character vectors.


Set it to n to select the nth var from the end.


An integer vector giving the position of the matched variables.


The order of selected columns is determined by the inputs.


nms <- names(iris) vars_select(nms, starts_with("Petal"))
#> Petal.Length Petal.Width #> "Petal.Length" "Petal.Width"
vars_select(nms, ends_with("Width"))
#> Sepal.Width Petal.Width #> "Sepal.Width" "Petal.Width"
vars_select(nms, contains("etal"))
#> Petal.Length Petal.Width #> "Petal.Length" "Petal.Width"
vars_select(nms, matches(".t."))
#> Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width #> "Sepal.Length" "Sepal.Width" "Petal.Length" "Petal.Width"
vars_select(nms, Petal.Length, Petal.Width)
#> Petal.Length Petal.Width #> "Petal.Length" "Petal.Width"
vars_select(nms, everything())
#> Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width Species #> "Sepal.Length" "Sepal.Width" "Petal.Length" "Petal.Width" "Species"
vars_select(nms, last_col())
#> Species #> "Species"
vars_select(nms, last_col(offset = 2))
#> Petal.Length #> "Petal.Length"
vars <- c("Petal.Length", "Petal.Width") vars_select(nms, one_of(vars))
#> Petal.Length Petal.Width #> "Petal.Length" "Petal.Width"
# The order of selected columns is determined from the inputs vars_select(names(mtcars), starts_with("c"), starts_with("d"))
#> cyl carb disp drat #> "cyl" "carb" "disp" "drat"
vars_select(names(mtcars), one_of(c("carb", "mpg")))
#> carb mpg #> "carb" "mpg"