[R] Keeping Leading Zeros, Treating numbers as text

Bert Gunter gunter.berton at gene.com
Tue Dec 21 22:11:22 CET 2010

Try reading the csv file with, say, Notepad. I think you may find that
the problem is that Excel assumes the column is numeric and strips off
the zeros before saving the file. So you need to tell it that the ID
columns are character before saving.

Then you need to read the Help page for read.csv more carefully,
noting, in particular, the "colClasses" argument.

-- Bert

On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 12:43 PM, James Splinter
<james.r.splinter at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> I have a data set, with some numerical values, some non-numerical data, my
> issue is that I need to preserve my ID numbers (numerics) with the leading
> zeros, but when I import the data into R (it's in .csv format) using the
> read.csv(" ") command, it turns all the ID numbers (Example: 00210) into
> numbers, removing the leading zeros, so I end up with 210. I tried using the
> "as.is=" command on the column that I wanted to treat as text, but it had no
> effect.
> Any help would be very much appreciated,
> Thanks,
> James
>        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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Bert Gunter
Genentech Nonclinical Biostatistics

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