[R] Basic Problem with Data Input

Sarah Goslee sarah.goslee at gmail.com
Sun Feb 7 23:58:44 CET 2016

Hi Walter,

I'm not sure changing the shortcut properties are the best approach.
Instead, after you start R, you can use the
command to see where R will start looking for things, and the
command to change that (wd is working directory).

Because of the way R parses strings, you either need to use double
backslashes or single forward slashes if you want to specify a full
X <- scan("C:\\Program Files\\R\\R-3.2.3\\Appendix\\DATA1.txt")
X <- scan("C:/Program Files/R/R-3.2.3/Appendix/DATA1.txt")
will both work.

Here's a basic overview of the relevant material:

It's perhaps not the most logical place to look, but it's also in the
R Windows FAQ as number 2.16:


On Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 3:23 PM, Walter Niessen <niessen at att.net> wrote:
> Helpers,
> I am a pretty savvy computer user (over 40 years) but am having trouble with the most basic process in using the R program.  I am taking a course to learn the statistics utility of “R” but can’t seem to get past the opening where it shows the student how to input data into R.
> It suggests identifying as the a target folder in the Properties of the R x64 3.2.3 icon (I use a 64-bit Windows 7 OS) the location where data files are found. I entered:
> As the Target:  "C:\Program Files\R\R-3.2.3\bin\x64\Rgui.exe"  ... which contains Rgui.exe and the supporting dlls etc.
> As the Start in: "C:\Program Files\R\R-3.2.3\Appendix" ... where Appendix is a folder which contains data files such as the text file DATA1.txt which I created from an Excel file.
> When I try and get R to input the data, I get the following sequence of messages:
>> X=scan("DATA1.txt")
> Error in file(file, "r") : cannot open the connection
> In addition: Warning message:
> In file(file, "r") :
>   cannot open file 'DATA1.txt': No such file or directory
> When I try again but use the complete file description, I get:
> X=scan("C:\Program Files\R\R-3.2.3\Appendix\DATA1.txt")
> Error: '\P' is an unrecognized escape in character string starting ""C:\P"
> I hate to ask a question not related to R or its features (that may come later), but, clearly, the first baby step is to be able to load data into the application . . . and, I am really frustrated with my inability to do so.  I apologize for this but really need to get past this business to jump into the REAL use of R.
> Can you help?
> Walt
> Walter R. Niessen
> (978) 470-4622
> P.S. I apologize, but I sent the first “edition” a few minutes ago without a Subject and not quite finished up.
Sarah Goslee

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