long() is a wrapper of stats::reshape() that takes the data from a wide format to a long format. It can also handle unbalanced data (where some measures have different number of "time points").

long(data, ..., v.names = NULL, id = NULL, timevar = NULL, times = NULL,
  sep = "")



the data.frame containing the wide format data


the variables that are time-varying that are to be placed in long format, needs to be in the format c("x1", "x2"), c("z1", "z2"), etc.. If the data is unbalanced (e.g., there are three time points measured for one variable but only two for another), using the placeholder variable miss, helps fix this.


a vector of the names for the newly created variables (length same as number of vectors in varying)


the ID variable in quotes


the column with the "time" labels


the labels of the timevar (default is numeric)


the separating character between the wide format variable names (default is ""); e.g. "x1" and "x2" would create the variable name of "x"; only applicable if v.names

See also


x1 <- runif(1000) x2 <- runif(1000) x3 <- runif(1000) y1 <- rnorm(1000) y2 <- rnorm(1000) z <- factor(sample(c(0,1), 1000, replace=TRUE)) a <- factor(sample(c(1,2), 1000, replace=TRUE)) b <- factor(sample(c(1,2,3,4), 1000, replace=TRUE)) df <- data.frame(x1, x2, x3, y1, y2, z, a, b) ## "Balanced" Data ldf1 <- long(df, c("x1", "x2"), c("y1", "y2"), v.names = c("x", "y")) ## "Unbalanced" Data ldf2 = long(df, c("x1", "x2", "x3"), c("y1", "y2", "miss"), v.names = c("x", "y"))