[Rd] xlsReadWrite Pro and embedding objects and files in Excel worksheets

Mark W Kimpel mwkimpel at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 16:17:16 CET 2007

Thanks for the useful suggestions. I am not as CS savvy as some of you, 
so maybe Hans-Peter could reply? I haven't checked into it, but does his 
  package write to files that are OpenOffice compliant? Would that 
satisfy more users?


Hin-Tak Leung wrote:
> James W. MacDonald wrote:
>> Have you looked at RDCOMClient? I would imagine you could do what you 
>> want with this package.
>> http://www.omegahat.org/RDCOMClient/
> Interesting point. But the dcom client would be windows-specific?
> (those I mentioned - the perl mondules, openoffice, run on windows,
> as well as unix boxes - not sure about gnumeric :-).
> In fact there is a very perverse way of doing it - ActiveState provides
> a PerlCom product for hooking up dcom with activestate perl. i.e. you 
> can go via R -> RDComClient -> PerlCom -> ActiveState Perl -> 
> SpreadSheet::* . Just so that it does not require Excel installed
> or an MS Office license...
> In that sense, probably technology based on bridging over odbc
> is also acceptable?
>> Hin-Tak Leung wrote:
>>> I don't know of any native xls read/write facility in R, either
>>> in core or as add-ons (I could be wrong), but if you want some source 
>>> code to scavenge on to build some R package out of it, there are two
>>> perl modules, Spreadsheet::ParseExcel and Spreadsheet::WriteExcel
>>> which are small enough to "read from front cover to back cover",
>>> so to speak, might be useful for reference and steal code from.
>>> The other open-source packages which can read/write excel files
>>> are gnumeric and openoffice and probably too big to find one's way 
>>> around the source code to steal there :-).
>>> Good luck.
>>> HTL
>>> Mark W Kimpel wrote:
>>>> Hans-Peter and other R developers,
>>>> How are you? Have you made any progess with embedding Url's in Excel?
>>>> Well, I have been busy thinking of more things for you to do;)
>>>> My colleagues in the lab are not R literate, and some are barely 
>>>> computer literate, so I give them everything in Excel workbooks. I 
>>>> have gradually evolved a system such that these workbooks have 
>>>> become compendia of my data, output, and methods. That, in fact, is 
>>>> why I bought the Pro version of xlsReadWritePro. I have been saving 
>>>> graphics as PDF files, then inserting them as object in Excel sheets.
>>>> What I would like to be able to do is to embed objects (files) in 
>>>> sheets of a workbook directly from within R. I would also like to be 
>>>> able to save my current R workspace as an object embedded in a sheet 
>>>> so that in the future, if packages change, I could go back and 
>>>> recreate the analysis. I do not need to be able to manuipulate files 
>>>> that R has not created, like a PDF file from another user. I would, 
>>>> however, like to be able to save my graphics as PDF files inside a 
>>>> worksheet, even if it meant creating a  temp file or something.
>>>> Before people begin talking about how MySQL or some other database 
>>>> could handle all that archiving, let me say that that is not what my 
>>>> colleagues want. They want a nice Excel file that they can take home 
>>>> on there laptops. One thing I like about worksheets is that they 
>>>> themselves can contain many embedded files, so it keeps our virtual 
>>>> desks neater and less confusing.
>>>> Hans, if you could do this, it would be of tremendous benefit to me 
>>>> and hopefully a lot of people. R developers tend to think that all 
>>>> scientists are running Linux on 64-bit computers, but most 
>>>> biomedical researches still store date in Excel files. This won't 
>>>> solve everybody's needs, but it could be a start.
>>>> Well, let me know what you think. I am cc'ing R-devel to see if any 
>>>> of those guys have ideas as well.
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Mark
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Mark W. Kimpel MD
Department of Psychiatry
Indiana University School of Medicine

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