printSpMatrix {Matrix}R Documentation

Format and Print Sparse Matrices Flexibly


Format and print sparse matrices flexibly. These are the “workhorses” used by the format, show and print methods for sparse matrices. If x is large, printSpMatrix2(x) calls printSpMatrix() twice, namely, for the first and the last few rows, suppressing those in between, and also suppresses columns when x is too wide.

printSpMatrix() basically prints the result of formatSpMatrix().


formatSpMatrix(x, digits = NULL, maxp = 1e9,
               cld = getClassDef(class(x)), zero.print = ".",
               col.names, note.dropping.colnames = TRUE,
               align = c("fancy", "right"))

printSpMatrix(x, digits = NULL, maxp = getOption("max.print"),
              cld = getClassDef(class(x)),
              zero.print = ".", col.names, note.dropping.colnames = TRUE,
              col.trailer = "",
              align = c("fancy", "right"))

printSpMatrix2(x, digits = NULL, maxp = getOption("max.print"),
              zero.print = ".", col.names, note.dropping.colnames = TRUE,
              suppRows = NULL, suppCols = NULL,
              col.trailer = if(suppCols) "......" else "",
              align = c("fancy", "right"))



an R object inheriting from class sparseMatrix.


significant digits to use for printing, see print.default, the default, NULL, corresponds to using getOption("digits").


integer, default from options(max.print), influences how many entries of large matrices are printed at all.


the class definition of x; must be equivalent to getClassDef(class(x)) and exists mainly for possible speedup.


character which should be printed for structural zeroes. The default "." may occasionally be replaced by " " (blank); using "0" would look almost like print()ing of non-sparse matrices.


logical or string specifying if and how column names of x should be printed, possibly abbreviated. The default is taken from options("sparse.colnames") if that is set, otherwise FALSE unless there are less than ten columns. When TRUE the full column names are printed.
When col.names is a string beginning with "abb" or "sub" and ending with an integer n (i.e., of the form "abb... <n>"), the column names are abbreviate()d or substring()ed to (target) length n, see the examples.


logical specifying, when col.names is FALSE if the dropping of the column names should be noted, TRUE by default.


a string to be appended to the right of each column; this is typically made use of by show(<sparseMatrix>) only, when suppressing columns.

suppRows, suppCols

logicals or NULL, for printSpMatrix2() specifying if rows or columns should be suppressed in printing. If NULL, sensible defaults are determined from dim(x) and options(c("width", "max.print")). Setting both to FALSE may be a very bad idea.


a string specifying how the zero.print codes should be aligned, i.e., padded as strings. The default, "fancy", takes some effort to align the typical zero.print = "." with the position of 0, i.e., the first decimal (one left of decimal point) of the numbers printed, whereas align = "right" just makes use of print(*, right = TRUE).



If x is large, only the first rows making up the approximately first maxp entries is used, otherwise all of x. .formatSparseSimple() is applied to (a dense version of) the matrix. Then, formatSparseM is used, unless in trivial cases or for sparse matrices without x slot.



returns a character matrix with possibly empty column names, depending on col.names etc, see above.


return x invisibly, see invisible.


Martin Maechler

See Also

the virtual class sparseMatrix and the classes extending it; maybe sparseMatrix or spMatrix as simple constructors of such matrices.

The underlying utilities formatSparseM and .formatSparseSimple() (on the same page).


f1 <- gl(5, 3, labels = LETTERS[1:5])
X <- as(f1, "sparseMatrix")
X ## <==>  show(X)  <==>  print(X)
t(X) ## shows column names, since only 5 columns

X2 <- as(gl(12, 3, labels = paste(LETTERS[1:12],"c",sep=".")),
## less nice, but possible:
print(X2, col.names = TRUE) # use [,1] [,2] .. => does not fit

t(X2) # suppressing column names
print(t(X2), col.names=TRUE)
print(t(X2), zero.print = "", col.names="abbr. 1")
print(t(X2), zero.print = "-", col.names="substring 2")

[Package Matrix version 1.2-2 Index]