[R] Excel

bogdan romocea br44114 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 20:16:33 CEST 2007

On a related note, there's one other amazingly stupid thing that Excel
(2002 SP3) does - it exports to CSV the numbers as you see them
displayed, and not as they were entered/imported in the first place.
For example, 1.2345678 will be exported to CSV/tab delimited as 1.23
if that column is formatted to show 2 decimals. Whoever doesn't pay
attention gets what s/he deserves for trusting Excel in the first

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch
> [mailto:r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of David Scott
> Sent: Monday, August 27, 2007 10:11 PM
> To: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: [R] Excel
> A common process when data is obtained in an Excel
> spreadsheet is to save
> the spreadsheet as a .csv file then read it into R. Experienced users
> might have learned to be wary of dates (as I have) but
> possibly have not
> experienced what just happened to me. I thought I might just
> share it with
> r-help as a cautionary tale.
> I received an Excel file giving patient details. Each patient
> had an ID
> code in the form of three letters followed by four digits.
> (Actually a New
> Zealand National Health Identification.) I saved the .xls
> file as .csv.
> Then I opened up the .csv (with Excel) to look at it. In the
> column of ID
> codes I saw: Aug-99. Clicking on that entry it showed 1/08/2699.
> In a column of character data, Excel had interpreted AUG2699
> as a date.
> The .csv did not actually have a date in that cell, but if I
> had saved the
> .csv file it would have.
> David Scott
> _________________________________________________________________
> David Scott Department of Statistics, Tamaki Campus
>   The University of Auckland, PB 92019
>   Auckland 1142,    NEW ZEALAND
> Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 86830 Fax: +64 9 373 7000
> Email: d.scott at auckland.ac.nz
> Graduate Officer, Department of Statistics
> Director of Consulting, Department of Statistics
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