[R-SIG-Mac] getting WriteXLS to work or else choosing file encoding of csv files output from R

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Thu Dec 2 07:37:45 CET 2010

On Wed, 1 Dec 2010, Denis Chabot wrote:

> Hi,
> Until now, I have always been happy to export dataframes using 
> write.csv2. The only drawback was than they often include accented 
> vowels and Excel on Mac seems to ONLY be able to properly understand 
> MacRoman encoding. So I used OpenOffice instead to open them.
> But for the next little while, colleagues using Windows and who do 
> not have a clue about encoding (and who do not want to know about 
> encoding) need to use my files. My files will have to be in 
> ISOLATIN1 encoding.

Most likely CP1252, which is the encoding used on Windows in W. 
European languages, not-quite-a-superset of latin1. (This is all in 
the R manuals, BTW.)

> It is unfortunate that the write.table family of 
> functions does not have a FileEncoding option like the read.table 
> function family.

But that's just syntactic sugar.

     file: either a character string naming a file or a connection open
           for writing.  ‘""’ indicates output to the console.

See ?file for how to specify the encoding of a connection.  Very 
likely you want

con <- file('filename', open="w", encoding = "latin1")

(or "macroman": see ?iconvlist to find encoding names on your OS).


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 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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