[R] Help with tabs, and importing data

Marc Schwartz mschwartz at medanalytics.com
Sun Feb 16 06:39:03 CET 2003

>-----Original Message-----
>From: r-help-admin at stat.math.ethz.ch 
>[mailto:r-help-admin at stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of Alan Smith
>Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2003 7:05 PM
>To: R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
>Subject: [R] Help with tabs, and importing data
>I am new at using R and I am trying to import data from microarray 
>experiments and analyze the data using the MAANOVA package and also 
>bioconductor.  I have searched this lists email archive and 
>could not find 
>the solution to my problem so hopefully members of this group 
>can help me. OS=windowsXP R 1.6.2 My Problem: It seems that MS 
>excel is adding little boxes at the end of each cell when 
>I save the file as tab delimited.  Is there any way to let R 
>know by sep 
>command that these little boxes really mean a tab is present?  
>I have had 
>success using comma delimited format, but it seems that one of 
>the programs 
>I am using is designed to recognize tabs.
>Another question:  Is there a way to stop MS excel (XP version) from 
>placing these hidden boxes after each of the cells in a row and
>place a tab?
>Could you please reply back to my email address because I am 
>not a member 
>of this list.
>Thank You,
>Alan Smith
>Graduate Student
>University of Wisconsin-Madison
>Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics
>alansmith at wisc.edu


When you say little boxes, what application are you using to see them?

My guess is that you are seeing the tab characters being represented
by the boxes in some text editor.

If you display the tab delimited file in Word and use the "Show/Hide"
formatting tool bar button (the paragraph symbol "¶"), you will see
little right pointing arrows where the tab characters are.  This is

To import the tab delimited file into R, use read.delim(), which uses
the tab character ("\t") as the default field separator.  See
?read.delim for more information.

Hope that helps,

Marc Schwartz

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