## Shortest unique prefix - hack part #3

- I want to find the shortest unique prefix for each string in a vector (N < 20)
- i.e. in a vector of strings, what’s the shortest a string can be and still match only itself

- This isn’t a computational bottleneck in the overall process, so there’s no need for heroic/drastic solutions.
- I wasn’t going to write a
*trie*implementation just to solve this problem.

Yesterday’s solution got a bit ugly.

Earlier today I got all cute using `charmatch()`

.

And now I’ve just discovered that there’s a function in base R that already does this. (Thanks to mdsummer for pointing this out)

Feeling a bit silly now.

`abbreviate(c("ab", "apple", "apart", 'b', 'ag'), use.classes = FALSE, minlength = 1)`

```
ab apple apart b ag
"ab" "app" "apa" "b" "ag"
```

`abbreviate(c('blue', 'black', 'bold') , use.classes = FALSE, minlength = 1)`

```
blue black bold
"blu" "bla" "bo"
```