Lists in R allow you to store data of different types into a single data structure. While they are extremely useful, they can be a bit confusing to work with at first.
Let’s start by creating a list. The syntax is simple enough, just add list() around the elements you want to put in your list.
l1 <- list(24, c(12,15,19), "Dogs") l1
Here is the output. Note we have 3 different groupings. 1 number, 1 vector (with 3 elements) and 1 character
You can call on each element using the element names (found in the double brackets [])
Here are the results
Now, what if you want to call 1 element from the vector in []
You do this by adding  to the end of the line
This will give you the 3rd number in the vector found in []
To make it easier to work with lists, you can rename the elements.
names(l1) # shows NULL since the elements have no names names(l1) = c("Number", "Vector", "Char") names(l1) # now shows assigned names
Now you can call on the list using the names.
l1$Char # will return "Dogs" l1$Vector #will return the second number in the vector in the list
You can also simply name your elements when creating your list
rm(l1) #deletes list l1 <- list(Number=24,Vector = c(12,15,19), Char="Dogs")
You can add a new element to you list via number
l1[] = "New Element"
Even better, you can add via new name
l1$Char2 <- "Cat"
Now let’s look at our list
Now we can use the names() function to give element 4 a name, or we can just get rid of it.
To delete an elements, use NULL
l1[] <- NULL
Now the last thing we will cover is how to subset a list
l1[1:3] # gives us elements 1 -3
We want to pick some elements out of order