Re: [R] R and SAS pointer/informat functionality

From: Marc Schwartz <MSchwartz_at_mn.rr.com>
Date: Wed 12 Oct 2005 - 11:31:03 EST

On Tue, 2005-10-11 at 18:55 -0500, Ratnendra Sharma wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I hope all is well. I've gone through and searched just about all the
> manuals, faqs, contribs available on the data import/export process and
> have not found any answer to a specific question. Hopefully, I will be
> able to fall back upon the valuable expertise in mailing list. Here goes:
>
> How can I import SPECIFIC columns of data in a fixed width file? E.g. I
> have a fwf with 40 variables ranging from 1 to 10 characters and at any
> given time, need only a few to analyze, like so:
> <age: 2 char ><sex: 1 char><morning: 1 char><location: 3
> char>......<family: 9 char><tagged: date>.......<weight at capture: 4
> char><length at capture: 7 char>etc.
> which looks something like:
> 02M1LOS...xxcanidae011289.....10001291412
>
>
> In essence I am looking for functionality similar to the SAS
> pointer/informat method. I would appreciate any help anyone would be
> able to give!
>
> Thanks so much for your help.
>
> best,
> Ratnendra Sharma
> U Minn

You just about answered the question yourself in your second paragraph ('fwf')....

See ?read.fwf and note the Details section regarding the use of negative numbers for the 'widths' argument to skip columns.

HTH, Marc Schwartz
<Greetings from Eden Prairie>



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