[R] gdata: Problem reading excel document containing non-US characters

Rolf Marvin Bøe Lindgren rolf.m.b.lindgren at gmail.com
Tue Jul 10 15:08:35 CEST 2012

I am using the gdata package to read in an Excel document. read.xls chokes on a “foreign” character.  Here's the original code:

   dendro <- read.xls("/tmp/avitot.xlsv3WiXg",fileEncoding="Latin1")

Now, the fileEncoding="Latin1" ought to work, because if i copy the code for read.xls, and edit

   retval <- read.csv(con, na.strings = na.strings, ...)

appropriately, to include fileEncoding="Latin1" and include the definition to override read.xls (to those who wish to test this: you need to include findPerl as well), then it works.

but from the code, seems plain that read.xls should pass the ‘fileEncoding="Latin1"’ all the way to when read.csv is called.

So I don't know if this is a bug, or if I have misuderstood something. 

Is there a better way to achieve this than to edit and override read.xls?  

Any and all suggestions are welcome. 

Thank you,

Rolf Marvin Bøe Lindgren
R at grendel.no

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