[R] Reading very large text files into R

Ben Tupper btupper @end|ng |rom b|ge|ow@org
Thu Sep 29 16:12:23 CEST 2022

Hi Nick,

It's hard to know without seeing at least a snippet of the data.
Could you do the following and paste the result into a plain text
email?  If you don't set your email client to plain text (from rich
text or html) then we are apt to see a jumble of output on our email

## start
x <- readLines(filename, n = 20)
cat(x, sep = "\n")
## end


On Thu, Sep 29, 2022 at 9:54 AM Nick Wray <nickmwray using gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello   I may be offending the R purists with this question but it is
> linked to R, as will become clear.  I have very large data sets from the UK
> Met Office in notepad form.  Unfortunately,  I can’t read them directly
> into R because, for some reason, although most lines in the text doc
> consist of 15 elements, every so often there is a sixteenth one and R
> doesn’t like this and gives me an error message because it has assumed that
> every line has 15 elements and doesn’t like finding one with more.  I have
> tried playing around with the text document, inserting an extra element
> into the top line etc, but to no avail.
> Also unfortunately you need access permission from the Met Office to get
> the files in question so this link probably won’t work:
> https://catalogue.ceda.ac.uk/uuid/bbd6916225e7475514e17fdbf11141c1
> So what I have done is simply to copy and paste the text docs into excel
> csv and then read them in, which is time-consuming but works.  However the
> later datasets are over the excel limit of 1048576 lines.  I can paste in
> the first 1048576 lines but then trying to isolate the remainder of the
> text doc to paste it into a second csv doc is proving v difficult – the
> only way I have found is to scroll down by hand and that’s taking ages.  I
> cannot find another way of editing the notepad text doc to get rid of the
> part which I have already copied and pasted.
> Can anyone help with a)ideally being able to simply read the text tables
> into R  or b)suggest a way of editing out the bits of the text file I have
> already pasted in without laborious scrolling?
> Thanks Nick Wray
>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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Ben Tupper (he/him)
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science
East Boothbay, Maine

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