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

Kasper Daniel Hansen khansen at stat.Berkeley.EDU
Thu Feb 8 18:59:22 CET 2007

The gdata etc. packages (I cannot remember which of the g* packages  
it is) contains a read.xls function which reads an excel file based  
on a PERL script. I have used it for small stuff and for that it  
worked fine. I don't think they contain a write module though.


On Feb 8, 2007, at 3:16 AM, 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.
> 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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