Import Data Directly From Excel

The package RDCOMClient is used to open an Excel workbook and return the content (value) of one (or several) given range(s) in a specified sheet. Helpful, if pathologically scattered data on an Excel sheet, which can't simply be saved as CSV-file, has to be imported in R. XLGetWorkbook does the same for all the sheets in an Excel workbook.

XLGetRange(file = NULL, sheet = NULL, range = NULL, as.data.frame = TRUE, header = FALSE, stringsAsFactors = FALSE)
XLGetWorkbook(file, compactareas = TRUE)
the fully specified path and filename of the workbook. If it is left as NULL, the function will look for a running Excel-Application and use its current sheet. The parameter sheet will be ignored in this case.

the name of the sheet containing the range(s) of interest.

a scalar or a vector with the address(es) of the range(s) to be returned (characters). Use "A1"-address mode to specify the ranges, for example "A1:F10". If set to NULL (which is the default), the function will look for a selection that contains more than one cell. If found, the function will use this selection. If there is no selection then the current region of the selected cell will be used.

logical. Determines if the cellranges should be coerced into data.frames. Defaults to TRUE, as this is probably the common use of this function.
a logical value indicating whether the range contains the names of the variables as its first line. Default is FALSE. header is ignored if as.data.frame has been set to FALSE.
logical. Should character columns be coerced to factors? The default is FALSE, which will return character vectors.
logical, defining if areas should be returned by XLGetWorkbook as list or as matrix (latter is default).

The result consists of a list of lists, if as.data.frame is set to FALSE. Be then prepared to encounter NULL values. Those will prevent from easily being able to coerce the square data structure to a data.frame.

The following code will replace the NULL values by NA and coerce the data to a data.frame.

  # get the range D1:J69 from an excel file
  xlrng <- XLGetRange(file="myfile.xlsx", sheet="Tabelle1",
                      range="D1:J69", as.data.frame=FALSE)

# replace \code{NULL} values by NA xlrng[unlist(lapply(xlrng, is.null))] <- NA

# coerce the square data structure to a data.frame d.lka <- data.frame(lapply(data.frame(xlrng), unlist)) This of course can be avoided by setting as.data.frame = TRUE.

The function will return dates as integer values, because XL stores them as integers. An Excel date can be converted with the (unusual) origin of as.Date(myDate, origin="1899-12-30"). See also XLDateToPOSIXct, which does the job.


as.data.frame is set to TRUE, a single data.frame or a list of data.frames will be returned. If set to FALSE a list of the cell values in the specified Excel range, resp. a list of lists will be returned.XLGetWorkbook returns a list of lists of the values in the given workbook.

See Also

GetNewXL, XLGetWorkbook

  • XLGetRange
  • XLGetWorkbook
## Not run:  # Windows-specific example
# XLGetRange(file="C:\My Documents\data.xls",
#            sheet="Sheet1",
#            range=c("A2:B5","M6:X23","C4:D40"))
# # if the current region has to be read (incl. a header), place the cursor in the interesting region
# # and run:
# d.set <- XLGetRange(header=TRUE)
# ## End(Not run)
Documentation reproduced from package DescTools, version 0.99.19, License: GPL (>= 2)

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