[R] Reading Excel files from within R.

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Thu Jan 11 09:05:18 CET 2001

On Thu, 11 Jan 2001, Alistair Merrifield wrote:

> Dear all,
> I am interested in reading Excel spreadsheets (*.xls) directly into R (I am
> using version 1.1.1 at the moment). I have not had much luck so far.

Short answer: upgrade. 1.2.0 comes with a manual `R Data Import/Export'
which describes all known ways to do this.

> For the time being, I have been converting Excel files to comma delimited
> files (*.csv) and reading these into R (using commands such as "read.csv").
> This works well, but it would be more efficient if I could read the Excel
> files directly.

You don't actually say what platform this is on.  Excel is a proprietary
format, and I know people who have tried hard and failed to read it on
other platforms.

> I have noticed that there is an Excel interface for R. However, this seems
> to be a backwards approach to my problem . I would prefer to read Excel into
> R, not use R in Excel!
> I am sure this cannot be an uncommon thing to want to do (given that Excel
> is a popular programme), although I have not had much success searching in
> the CRAN archives for information. Any comments would be appreciated.

Well, Excel is widely used on Windows.  It is not popular with R
developers.  So if anyone wants to contribute code ....

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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