Re: [R] preprocessing data

From: Kevin E. Thorpe <>
Date: Tue 16 Aug 2005 - 22:56:43 EST

Some time ago, Doug Bates wrote a useful paper called "Data manipulatation in perl." It is a very concise intoduction and introduces the unpack function which is one way to deal with fixed format data. Just google for

   "data manipulation in perl" bates

and you should be able to find a copy.

Jean Eid wrote:
> Dear all,
> My question is concerning the line
> "This is adequate for small files, but for anything more complicated we
> recommend using the facilities of a language like perl to pre-process
> the file."
> in the import/export manual.
> I have a large fixed-width file that I would like to preprocess in Perl or
> awk. The problem is that I do not know where to start. Does anyone have a
> simple example on how to turn a fixed-width file in any of these
> facilities into csv or tab delimited file. I guess I am looking for
> somewhat a perl for dummies or awk for dummies that does this. any
> pointers for website will be greatly appreciated
> Thank you
> Jean Eid
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Kevin E. Thorpe
Biostatistician/Trialist, Knowledge Translation Program
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
email:  Tel: 416.946.8081  Fax: 416.971.2462

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Received on Tue Aug 16 23:00:46 2005

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