Using the order() function in R, sort data frame by column. order() function as default sorts the data in ascending order. However using the minus (-) sign before the column, we can sort data frame by column in descending order.

We can use the order() function to sort a data frame by a single column or multiple columns.

In this tutorial, we will discuss in R programming, how to sort data frame by column.

## Sort Data Frame by Column

Use the order() function to sort the data frame by column. Specify the column name by which you want to sort data in a data frame.

Let’s consider an example to understand the sorting of a data frame.

# Create a data frame
student_info <- data.frame(
name = c("Tom","Kim","Sam","Julie","Emily","Chris"),
age = c(20,21,19,20,21,22),
gender = c('M','F','M','F','F','M'),
marks = c(72,77,65,80,85,87)
)
# Print the data frame
student_info


The output of the created data frame in R is:

  name age gender marks
1   Tom  20      M    72
2   Kim  21      F    77
3   Sam  19      M    65
4 Julie  20      F    80
5 Emily  21      F    85
6 Chris  22      M    87


Let’s consider ordering data frame by age of the student, use the following code.

# Order data frame by column age
orderby_age <- student_info[order(student_info$age),] # Print the sorted order data frame orderby_age  The output of the above sorting of the data frame by the content of the column age is:  name age gender marks 3 Sam 19 M 65 1 Tom 20 M 72 4 Julie 20 F 80 2 Kim 21 F 77 5 Emily 21 F 85 6 Chris 22 M 87  ## Sorting Data Frame by Multiple Columns Using the order() function in R, specify multiple columns to sort the data frame. By default, it will sort the data frame in ascending order. Let’s understand the sorting of a data frame by multiple columns with the student_info data frame. # Order data frame data by multiple columns age and marks order_age_marks <- student_info[order(student_info$age,student_info$marks),] print the sorted data frame order_age_marks   name age gender marks 3 Sam 19 M 65 1 Tom 20 M 72 4 Julie 20 F 80 2 Kim 21 F 77 5 Emily 21 F 85 6 Chris 22 M 87  ## Sort Data Frame by Column Descending in R To sort data frame by column descending in R can be achieved using the minus sign (-) before the column name in order() function. In the above examples, we have seen, the order() function in R always sorts the data frame in ascending order. Using the above student_info data frame to perform sorting of a data frame by column value in descending order. # Sort data frame by column in descending order, use - sign sort_by_marks <- student_info[order(-student_info$marks),]
# Print the sort data frame by column content in descending order
sort_by_marks

   name age gender marks
6 Chris  22      M    87
5 Emily  21      F    85
4 Julie  20      F    80
2   Kim  21      F    77
1   Tom  20      M    72
3   Sam  19      M    65


## Sort Data Frame by Ascending and Descending

The order() function R sorts the data in ascending order, use minus sign (-) to order data by descending order based on the contents of the column in a data frame.

Let’s consider the student_info data frame to sort data frame by ascending and descending order by the column value.

# Sort the data frame by ascending and descending
sort_data <- student_info[order(student_info$age,-student_info$marks),]
# Print the data frame
sort_data


In the above R code, order() sorts the data frame in ascending order for column age and descending order for column marks.

   name age gender marks
3   Sam  19      M    65
4 Julie  20      F    80
1   Tom  20      M    72
5 Emily  21      F    85
2   Kim  21      F    77
6 Chris  22      M    87


## Conclusion

I hope the above article on sorting data frame by column value in R is helpful to you.

Using the order() function, we can order the data frame in ascending or descending order.