XLConnect 0.1-4

Mirai Solutions GmbH (http://www.mirai-solutions.com) is pleased to release XLConnect 0.1-4. In the time since our first release (XLConnect 0.1-3, released on Feb 28, 2011) we received very positive and constructive feedback from the R community which heavily influenced the development of XLConnect 0.1-4. At this point special thanks to Peter DeWitt, Doug Morrison, Bob Colner, Bill Behrman and Carl Finkbeiner.

XLConnect 0.1-4 fixes several issues and introduces many new features. The most important items are listed below:

  • An issue was fixed where cell styles would not be applied correctly.
  • There is a new DATA_FORMAT_ONLY style action: This style action instructs XLConnect to only set the data format for a cell but not to apply any other styling but rather keep the existing one. The data format to be applied is determined by the corresponding R data type and can be defined by the user. This style action may be useful in scenarios where Excel templates with pre-defined styling are to be filled with XLConnect.
  • Worksheets can be renamed with the new renameSheet method.
  • The positions (indices) of worksheets can be queried & redefined using the new methods getSheetPos & setSheetPos.
  • Worksheets can be cloned using the new method cloneSheet.
  • There is a set of new utility functions:
    • col2idx, idx2col: Converts Excel column names such as BD to indices and vice versa.
    • cref2idx, idx2cref: Converts cell references to row & column indices and vice versa.
  • Setting a missing value string when writing missing values from R to Excel. By default missing values result in blank/empty cells. This is to have a nice type mapping between R and Excel. In some cases, however, you might want to define a specific missing value string to be used by XLConnect when writing cells representing missing values instead of blank/empty cells. This can be done using the new method setMissingValue.
  • The handling of error cells (cells that result in an error when trying to evaluate them) has been greatly improved. With XLConnect 0.1-3 error cells directly resulted in an exception. With XLConnect 0.1-4 this behavior can be controlled using the onErrorCell method. By default error cells now result in a missing value and the corresponding error cells will be reported via warnings. The behavior may be changed to get an exception with the first occurrence of an error cell.
  • There is two new methods for merging & un-merging cells: mergeCells & unmergeCells.

XLConnect is a comprehensive and cross-platform R package for manipulating Microsoft Excel files from within R. XLConnect differs from other related R packages in that it is completely cross-platform and as such runs under Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac (32- and 64-bit). Moreover, it does not require any installation of Microsoft Excel or any other special drivers to be able to read & write Excel files. The only requirement is a recent version of a Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

The package can easily be installed from CRAN via install.packages(“XLConnect”). In order to get started have a look at the numerous demos available via demo(package = “XLConnect”). E.g. in order to run the “writeNamedRegion” demo simply run demo(topic = “writeNamedRegion”, package = “XLConnect”).

For general feedback write us an email to xlconnect@mirai-solutions.com. If you find any bugs or hope to see some currently missing features in the future, just send us an email to xlconnect-bugs@mirai-solutions.com. You may also want to check out our new XLConnect FAQ.


About Mirai Solutions

Mirai Solutions is an independent consulting company with broad expertise in statistics, finance and IT. Together with our customers, we design and implement smart sustainable solutions ranging from small-scale software components or prototypes to enterprise-wide applications and platforms, positioning your organization for long-term success. Our interdisciplinary team can help you cover all aspects in developing the tools and processes you need to interpret complex statistical data and transform them into better business decisions. Be it highly customized and specialized advisory services and risk management solutions for financial services institutions, or more general statistical or IT consulting, or training courses on related topics, Mirai offers the appropriate services for all cases. At Mirai, we pride ourselves in the high level of customer satisfaction among all our existing clients.
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