write: Write Data to a File

writeR Documentation

Write Data to a File


The data (usually a matrix) x are written to file file. If x is a two-dimensional matrix you need to transpose it to get the columns in file the same as those in the internal representation.


write(x, file = "data",
      ncolumns = if(is.character(x)) 1 else 5,
      append = FALSE, sep = " ")



the data to be written out, usually an atomic vector.


a connection, or a character string naming the file to write to. If "", print to the standard output connection.

When .Platform$OS.type != "windows", and it is "|cmd", the output is piped to the command given by ‘cmd’.


the number of columns to write the data in.


if TRUE the data x are appended to the connection.


a string used to separate columns. Using sep = "\t" gives tab delimited output; default is " ".


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

See Also

write is a wrapper for cat, which gives further details on the format used.

save for writing any R objects, write.table for data frames, and scan for reading data.


# create a 2 by 5 matrix
x <- matrix(1:10, ncol = 5)

fil <- tempfile("data")
# the file data contains x, two rows, five cols
# 1 3 5 7 9 will form the first row
write(t(x), fil)
if(interactive()) file.show(fil)
unlink(fil) # tidy up

# Writing to the "console" 'tab-delimited'
# two rows, five cols but the first row is 1 2 3 4 5
write(x, "", sep = "\t")