Write a DBF File
The function tries to write a data frame to a DBF file.
write.dbf(dataframe, file, factor2char = TRUE, max_nchar = 254)
- a data frame object.
- a file name to be written to.
- logical, default
TRUE, convert factor columns to character: otherwise they are written as the internal integer codes.
- The maximum number of characters allowed in a character field. Strings which exceed this will be truncated with a warning. See Details.
Dots in column names are replaced by underlines in the DBF file, and names are truncated to 11 characters.
Only vector columns of classes
"Date" can be written. Other columns should be converted to
one of these.
Maximum precision (number of digits including minus sign and decimal
sign) for numeric is 19 - scale (digits after the decimal sign) which is
calculated internally based on the number of digits before the decimal
The original DBASE format limited character fields to 254 bytes.
It is said that Clipper and FoxPro can read up to 32K, and it is
possible to write a reader that could accept up to 65535 bytes.
(The documentation suggests that only ASCII characters can be assumed
to be supported.) Readers expecting the older standard (which
includes Excel 2003, Access 2003 and OpenOffice 2.0) will truncate the
field to the maximum width modulo 256, so increase
only if you are sure the intended reader supports wider character fields.
Other applications have varying abilities to read the data types used
here. Microsoft Access reads
"Date" fields, including recognizing
missing values, but not
"logical" (read as
Microsoft Excel understood all possible types but did not interpret missing
values in character fields correctly (showing them as character nuls).
str(warpbreaks) try1 <- paste(tempfile(), ".dbf", sep = "") write.dbf(warpbreaks, try1, factor2char = FALSE) in1 <- read.dbf(try1) str(in1) try2 <- paste(tempfile(), ".dbf", sep = "") write.dbf(warpbreaks, try2, factor2char = TRUE) in2 <- read.dbf(try2) str(in2) unlink(c(try1, try2)) <testonly>DF <- data.frame(a=c(1:3, NA), b=c(NA, rep(pi, 3)), c=c(TRUE,NA, FALSE, TRUE), d=c("aa", "bb", NA, "dd"), e=I(c("a1", NA, NA, "a4"))) DF$f <- as.Date(c("2001-01-01", NA, NA, "2004-10-26")) str(DF) write.dbf(DF, try2) in2 <- read.dbf(try2) str(in2) unlink(try2)</testonly>