Drew Steen Drew Steen - 1 month ago 12
R Question

How to print (to paper) a nicely-formatted data frame

I'd like to print nicely-formatted data frames to paper, ideally from within a script. (I am trying to collect data using an instrument and automatically process and print it using an R script).

Right now I can write a data frame to a text file using

write.table()
, but this has two problems:
1.) the resulting text file is poorly formatted (columns do not necessarily line up with their headings) and
2.) I don't know how to print a text file from within R.

I'm looking more for general strategies than for specific code (although code would be great too!). Would Sweave be the most convenient solution? In principle can I use
socketConnection()
to print to a printer - and if so, where can I learn about how to use it (I didn't find the documentation to be very helpful).

Thanks.

Answer

Here is a quick and easy possibility using grid.table from the gridExtra package:

library(gridExtra)
pdf("data_output.pdf", height=11, width=8.5)
grid.table(mtcars)
dev.off()

enter image description here

If your data doesn't fit on the page, you can reduce the text size grid.table(mtcars, gp=gpar(fontsize=8)). This may not be very flexible, nor easy to generalize or automate.

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