[R] What is the best way to have "R" output tables in an MS Word format?

Chris Evans chrishold at psyctc.org
Sat May 1 09:41:49 CEST 2010

It's interesting to see this coming up quite soon after my posting
asking for light formatting (tabs, simple tables, one day embedded
graphics) in a default output pane in R.

Greg Snow kindly pointed me to sword and I've tried it and it seems to
work and is a bit friendlier than ODFweave or the xtable, hwriter and
R2HTML options that I also know.  Sweave and the whole transition to
TeX/LaTeX, though I'd love it, just isn't a realistic option for me as
my statistical/numerical work is done in a world in which pretty
literally no-one uses TeX and I and many others who are part time with R
will never have time to learn to go that way.  (I promise myself I'll
give it one determined try when I retire but even then all papers I
submit to journals will have to be in Word or RTF.)

Greg also kindly pointed me to the R-Plus GUI by Xlsolutions corp
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qsv1MdB4tk) (thanks Greg) and that
clearly has some of the formatted table output I'd like but it is also a
huge shift towards the whole SPSS style pull down menus for everything
and I really don't want that (and can't justify the price!)

Come on R core team: I am sure there are a large number of users like
Max Gunther and myself who would find this a huge help and I'm equally
sure there are an even larger number of potential users who would change
to R if we had formatted tables in the output window and the option to
save that to HTML, TeX, ODF and ideally RTF.  I think three quarters of
the export/save primitives needed are there in these various add ons to
R that alread exist and all that's needed on top of them is a simple
screen rendering that would handle tables.  (Graphics later or even
never would be fine by me.)

Yours in hope and huge appreciation for what we already have which I
have been using a bit this last week and, as ever, marvelling at its
power and simplicity ... and I didn't need tables from it for once!

Very best all,


Frank E Harrell Jr sent the following  at 01/05/2010 04:35:
> On 04/30/2010 05:45 PM, Marc Schwartz wrote:
>> On Apr 30, 2010, at 5:13 PM, Max Gunther wrote:
>>> Dear "R" list,
>>> Our statisticians usually give us results back in a PDF format. I
>>> would like
>>> to be able to copy and past tables from "R" output directly into a
>>> Microsoft
>>> Word table since this will save us tons of time, be more accurate to
>>> minimize human copying errors and help us update data in our papers more
>>> easily.
>>> Do people have suggestions for the best way to do this?
>>> I am a novice to "R" but I do work with a couple of
>>> very knowledgeable statisticians who do most of the heavy statistical
>>> lifting for our research group.
>>> Many thanks,
>>> Max
>> Max,
>> I would urge you to consider using Sweave. It enables the use of R and
>> LaTeX to facilitate reproducible research, which seems to be your goal
>> here.
>> You might want to talk to your campus neighbor Frank Harrell, who has
>> extensive information on the Vanderbilt Biostatistics department web
>> site on this:
> And note Max that we have an R clinic every Thursday at 2pm.  LaTeX and
> Sweave are frequently discussed during the clinic.
> Frank
>>    http://biostat.mc.vanderbilt.edu/twiki/bin/view/Main/StatReport
>> Frank also has some pointers for converting between various formats:
>>    http://biostat.mc.vanderbilt.edu/twiki/bin/view/Main/SweaveConvert
>> HTH,
>> Marc Schwartz
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Chris Evans <chris at psyctc.org> Skype: chris-psyctc
Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Notts. PDD network;
Trust Research Governance Lead and Clinical Director, Psychological
  Therapies Directorate in Local Services, Nottinghamshire NHS Trust;
Professor, Psychotherapy, Nottingham University
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