Re: [R] Importing Large Dataset into Excel

From: Peter Dalgaard <>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 11:35:20 +0100

Philippe Grosjean wrote:
> The problem is often a misspecification of the comment.char argument.
> For read.table(), it defaults to '#'. This means that everywhere you
> have a '#' char in your Excel sheet, the rest of the line is ignored.
> This results in a different number of items per line.
> You should better use read.csv() which provides better default arguments
> for your particular problem.
> Best,
Or read.delim/read.delim2, which should be even better at TAB-separated files.

In general, be very suspicious of read.table() with such files, not only because of the '#' but also because it expects columns separated by _arbitrary_ amounts of whitespace. I.e., n TABs counts as one, so empty fields are skipped over.

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark          Ph:  (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (                  FAX: (+45) 35327907

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Received on Wed 12 Dec 2007 - 10:48:36 GMT

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