Re: [R] Table of basic descriptive statistics like SPSS

From: William Revelle <>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 06:02:43 -0500

At 7:05 PM +0100 3/17/08, wrote:
>Dear list readers,
>I want to:
>1. Get a table of basic descriptive statistics for my variables
>with the variable names one below the other
>like SPSS descriptive statistics:
>Varname N Min Max Mean SD
>xxxx x x x x x
>xxx x x x x x


   To limit the number of columns of describe, set skew=FALSE

to delete variables from the description, do so in the call to describe

df <- rnorm(1000), ncol=100)) describe(df[c(1:10,20:30)],skew=FALSE)

to print the output into LaTeX, look at the the Sweave package.


>2. Delete some variables from a data frame or exclude variables
>from beeing analyzed.
>3. Create a text file / redirect the terminal output to a
>file (it is supposed to be easy, but I could not find a solution)?
>4. Create a latex/dvi file
>5. Create a PDF file (can that be done within R?)
>This code took me some ours (I am new to R). What do you think about
>my solution? Are there easier ones? Comments welcome! Sorry if
>my questions look very basic and I hope they are understandable.
>#here is my code
>setwd("c:\\temp") #set working directory
>#Create example data frame with many variables
>df <- rnorm(1000), ncol=100))
>df <- describe(df) #describe from lib psych
>#How Can I create a text file with the output of "describe"?
>#The "save as" function from the GUI saves
>#only last part of the output to a text file (the first part is cut)
>#delete some variables. Or can I exclude variables from
>#beeing analyzed by "describe" to reduce the numer of cols?
>df$kurtosis <- df$skew <- df$se <- NULL
>x.df <- xtable(df) #Create an xtable object
>print(x.df, tabular.environment = "longtable", , floating = FALSE,
> file="c:\\temp\\descript.tex") #create latex file
># produce dvi file in working directory (from tools)
>texi2dvi("c:\\temp\\descript.tex") #the lines below have to be added
>#Problem: these lines have to be added "manually" to the latex
>#before calling "texi2dvi":
># Latex code
>#Can I prodcuce a PDF file within R?
>Thanks a lot in advance!
> mailing list
>PLEASE do read the posting guide
>and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

William Revelle
Department of Psychology   
Northwestern University
Use R for statistics:                

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Received on Tue 18 Mar 2008 - 11:16:18 GMT

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