R for Excel Users: The XLView() Function

It’s time for another post about R.

I’ll admit, these days most of my work is done in R. But, I still love using Excel, and I really do enjoy teaching and blogging about it.

Fortunately, these two platforms work great together… they collide, in a good way. And XLView() is a great example.

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Let’s say you need to do some data analysis or manipulation in R but want to bring it back into Excel for visualization or distribution to colleagues.

In the past, I may have used write.csv() to export the file to a csv, then gone to Excel to open.

That’s still a solid option, but I really like this XLView() function from the DescTools() library. Get this function running with the below packages…

In this demonstration, I am using the famous iris dataset (download here)

Like magic, something like the below workbook should open in Excel. From there, simply head to Data | Text to Columns and split the columns as semicolon-delimited. All about XLView()

Like with any function in R, learn about the arguments it takes with the str() function. Try str(XLView):

XLView has three optional arguments: whether you want column names (i.e. header names), row names (i.e. an index/ID number as your first column), and how to label missing values (usually as a blank or “NA.”) By default, XLView will give you column but not row names, and label missing values as blanks or ” “.

I imagine this is what the majority of users would want. Still, it’s good to know the options.

This is a great function for integrating R and Excel. I like that it opens Excel for you on command unlike write.csv(). It is also relatively easy to download, unlike some competing Excel/R packages.

Did this post help you? Please like, comment and share. Got questions about R, Excel or their colliding worlds? Leave a comment below.


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