[R] detecting blanks in read.table()

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Tue Jul 31 23:02:18 CEST 2001

On Tue, 31 Jul 2001, Laura Forsberg wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I am trying to read in a tab delimited data file to R that has outliers
> marked by blank spaces.  I would like to be able to tag those as "NA"
> when the data is read in.  I cannot figure out how to do this using the
> read.table() options.  Everything I have tried either puts all the NA on
> the end of the row when there are missing values instead of on their
> appropiate columns or won't read the data in at all.

This seems to work
> read.table("foo.dat",sep="\t",na.strings=" ",header=TRUE)
   a  b  c d
1  1 NA  2 3
2  4  5 NA 6
3 NA  7  8 9

where the file is
a	b	c	d
1	 	2	3
4	5	 	6
 	7	8	9

ie with tabs replaced by \t
1\t \t2\t3
4\t5\t \t6


Thomas Lumley			Asst. Professor, Biostatistics
tlumley at u.washington.edu	University of Washington, Seattle

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