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  • sym() creates a symbol from a string and syms() creates a list of symbols from a character vector.

  • enquo() and enquos() delay the execution of one or several function arguments. enquo() returns a single quoted expression, which is like a blueprint for the delayed computation. enquos() returns a list of such quoted expressions.

  • expr() quotes a new expression locally. It is mostly useful to build new expressions around arguments captured with enquo() or enquos(): expr(mean(!!enquo(arg), na.rm = TRUE)).

  • as_name() transforms a quoted variable name into a string. Supplying something else than a quoted variable name is an error.

    That's unlike as_label() which also returns a single string but supports any kind of R object as input, including quoted function calls and vectors. Its purpose is to summarise that object into a single label. That label is often suitable as a default name.

    If you don't know what a quoted expression contains (for instance expressions captured with enquo() could be a variable name, a call to a function, or an unquoted constant), then use as_label(). If you know you have quoted a simple variable name, or would like to enforce this, use as_name().

To learn more about tidy eval and how to use these tools, visit https://tidyeval.tidyverse.org and the Metaprogramming section of Advanced R.