Re: [R] OT: batch processing XLS files to CSV

From: Moshe Olshansky <>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 22:15:25 +1000 (EST)

Another, not very nice but quite practical possibility would be to put all your Excel files into a single directory, convert one such file into CSV or any other text file while recording a macro doing this (Record Macro in Excel), then edit the recording macro making it run over all the files in that directory (some simple VBA is required). Once all files become regular text files (CSV or other) you can easily process them using Perl (or even R itself).



> Dear R gurus, particularly those of generous M$
> tolerance and diverse
> gifts and knowledge!
> I have an interesting challenge that I will end up
> crunching in R
> involving service usage by patients. Maybe I can do
> all of it in R but
> I can't see how yet.
> My situation is that our IT Department can give me
> loads of XLS files
> about patients one of our services have seen. The
> are one per patient
> per time period. All the data are in the first
> sheet of the XLS files
> and that sheet contains four variable length but
> fixed format matrices
> of data:
> 1) demographics (actually, this is fixed length, one
> row!);
> 2) community contacts with services, variable
> length, rarely zero rows
> but could be;
> 3) inpatient admissions, variable length, often zero
> rows;
> and CPA information (don't ask what that is!), two
> rows, fixed format,
> just to make things tricky, they're spearated by a
> fixed few junk rows
> in the xls files. The column format of each block is
> different.
> Each block starts with standard label rows so it
> will be easy to
> identify these start points and know the format on
> the rows that follow
> each one. I could use perl to scan for these and
> then read the zero to
> many lines of the data in the matrix and end on
> finding the next header.
> I would be fairly happy to do this with perl but
> would need to convert
> the xls (xls 2002) files to CSV to get at them in
> Perl (I think).
> Anyone out there done anything like this and can
> give me any advice?
> I'm sorry, I'm sure there are more specific lists or
> web resources but I
> think the skills are here too and if someone can
> tell me how to do this
> all in R, I'd be fascinated.
> Many thanks,
> Chris
> --
> Chris Evans <> Skype: chris-psyctc
> Professor of Psychotherapy, Nottingham University;
> Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Notts PDD
> network;
> Research Programmes Director, Nottinghamshire NHS
> Trust;
> *If I am writing from one of those roles, it will be
> clear. Otherwise*
> *my views are my own and not representative of those
> institutions *
> ______________________________________________
> mailing list
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained,
> reproducible code.
> mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Thu 29 May 2008 - 12:31:32 GMT

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.2.0, at Thu 29 May 2008 - 13:30:40 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.

list of date sections of archive