read_ascii_setup {asciiSetupReader}R Documentation

Read fixed-width ASCII file using SPSS or SAS Setup file.


read_ascii_setup() is used when you need to read an fixed-width ASCII (text) file that comes with a setup file. The setup file provides instructions on how to create and name the columns, and fix the key-value pairs (sometimes called value labels). This is common in government data, particular data produced before 2010.


  use_value_labels = TRUE,
  use_clean_names = TRUE,
  select_columns = NULL,
  coerce_numeric = TRUE



Name of the ASCII (.txt or .dat) file that contains the data. This file may be zipped with a file extension of .zip.


Name of the SPSS or SAS setup file - should be a .sps or .sas (.txt also accepted as are these files in zipped format)


If TRUE, fixes value labels of the data. e.g. If a column is "sex" and has values of 0 or 1, and the setup file says 0 = male and 1 = female, it will make that change. Using this parameter for enormous files may slow down the package considerably.


If TRUE fixes column names from default column name in the setup file (e.g. V1, V2) to the descriptive label for the column provided in the file (e.g. age, sex, etc.).


Specify which columns from the dataset you want. If NULL, will return all columns. Accepts the column number (e.g. 1:5), column name (e.g. V1, V2, etc.) or column label (e.g. VICTIM_NAME, CITY, etc.).


If TRUE (default) will make columns where all values can be made numeric into numeric columns. Useful as FALSE if variables have leading zeros - such as US Census FIPS codes.


data.frame of the data from the ASCII file


# Text file is zipped to save space.
dataset_name <- system.file("extdata", "",
  package = "asciiSetupReader")
sps_name <- system.file("extdata", "example_setup.sps",
  package = "asciiSetupReader")

## Not run: 
example <- read_ascii_setup(data = dataset_name,
  setup_file = sps_name)

# Does not fix value labels
example2 <- read_ascii_setup(data = dataset_name,
  setup_file = sps_name, use_value_labels = FALSE)

# Keeps original column names
example3 <- read_ascii_setup(data = dataset_name,
  setup_file = sps_name, use_clean_names = FALSE)

## End(Not run)

# Only returns the first 5 columns
example4 <- read_ascii_setup(data = dataset_name,
  setup_file = sps_name, select_columns = 1:5)

[Package asciiSetupReader version 2.5.1 Index]