[R] converting an ASCII file to a matrix

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.uni-dortmund.de
Tue May 10 18:23:07 CEST 2005

Michael Graber wrote:
> Dear R-WinEdit users,

a) What is an R-WinEdit user?

b) I guess you mean R-WinEdt (without an i) implying the plug-in for the 
WinEdt editor? WinEdit is another editor that does not support R very 
closely, AFAIK.

c) The following questions are completely unrelated to any editor, so 
why do you ask only a very small (empty?) subset of the R community?

> I have a simple question, but somehow I cannot find the answer even
> though I tried a lot!
> I have an unstructured ASCII-file and I want to import it into a matrix
> m in R, so that every character is defined by m[i;j]. The rows are not

d) What does m[i;j] mean? If we are speaking R, I guess you mean m[i,j]?

> of the same length.
> The file looks like the following shortened abstract example:
> name: xxxxx xxxx
> age: 9.9.99
> record number: 999
> title: xxxxx xxxx xxx
> keywords: xxx xx
> "white space"
> name: yyyy yyyyyyyyyyyy
> age: 8.8.88
> record number: 8
> title: yyyy yy yyyy
> keywords: yyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy yyy
> "white space"
> The result should be for example: m[1;1]=n

So what aboutreading all lines, and storing separate characters as 
vectors in a list using strsplit().
   L <- strsplit(readLines(filename), "")

A matrix seems to be the wrong way with unequal line lengths.

Uwe Ligges

> I would be very grateful for your help!
> Michael Graber
> michael.graber at mail.uni-wuerzburg.de
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