Beginners tutorial with R – How to load an Excel File

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Beginners tutorial with R – How to load an Excel File

Microsoft Excel is the most widely used spreadsheet program which stores data in the .xls or .xlsx format. R can read directly from these files using some excel specific packages. Few such packages are – XLConnect, xlsx, gdata etc. We will be using xlsx package. R can also write into excel file using this package.

Install xlsx Package

You can use the following command in the R console to install the “xlsx” package. It may ask to install some additional packages on which this package is dependent. Follow the same command with required package name to install the additional packages.


Verify and Load the “xlsx” Package

Use the following command to verify and load the “xlsx” package.

# Verify the package is installed.

# Load the library into R workspace.

When the script is run we get the following output.

[1] TRUE
Loading required package: rJava
Loading required package: methods
Loading required package: xlsxjars

Input as xlsx File

Open Microsoft excel. Copy and paste the following data in the work sheet named as sheet1.

id	name      salary    start_date	dept
1	Rick	    623.3	  1/1/2012	   IT
2	Dan       515.2     9/23/2013    Operations
3	Michelle  611	     11/15/2014	IT
4	Ryan	    729	     5/11/2014	   HR
5	Gary	    43.25     3/27/2015  	Finance
6	Nina	    578       5/21/2013	   IT
7	Simon	    632.8	  7/30/2013	   Operations
8	Guru	    722.5	  6/17/2014	   Finance

Also copy and paste the following data to another worksheet and rename this worksheet to “city”.

name	    city
Rick	    Seattle
Dan       Tampa
Michelle  Chicago
Ryan	    Seattle
Gary	    Houston
Nina	    Boston
Simon	    Mumbai
Guru	    Dallas

Save the Excel file as “input.xlsx”. You should save it in the current working directory of the R workspace.

Reading the Excel File

The input.xlsx is read by using the read.xlsx() function as shown below. The result is stored as a data frame in the R environment.

# Read the first worksheet in the file input.xlsx.
data <- read.xlsx("input.xlsx", sheetIndex = 1)

When we execute the above code, it produces the following result −

      id,   name,     salary,   start_date,   dept
1      1    Rick      623.30    2012-01-01    IT
2      2    Dan       515.20    2013-09-23    Operations
3      3    Michelle  611.00    2014-11-15    IT
4      4    Ryan      729.00    2014-05-11    HR
5     NA    Gary      843.25    2015-03-27    Finance
6      6    Nina      578.00    2013-05-21    IT
7      7    Simon     632.80    2013-07-30    Operations
8      8    Guru      722.50    2014-06-17    Finance


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Beginners tutorial with R – How to load an Excel File

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