Examining the content of RData Files (and multiple R environments)
Want to see the contents of an RData file without modifying your current environment?
We’ve discussed the usefulness and efficiency of the RData structure in previous posts. Unlike a CSV file, the RData structure allows you to store multiple multidimensional variables in a single file. But what if you want to view the contents of these files later?
Loading an RData file will add variables to your current R environment. In an existing project, you might want to just view the contents, but not load the variables which may overwrite other current environmental variables.
The solution? Open the RData file into a new “environment” within your current R environment. A R environment consists of all the objects (function, variables, etc.) which represents a virtual space. The environment that is loaded when you start and R project is known as the “Global” environment. You can check what environment you are in by running the
Loading the RData structure into a new environment
RDataFile <- "your_data_file.RData" # Load RData file into new environemtn load(file.path(RDataFile), new_environment <- new.env() ) # List all of the variable names in RData: ls(new_environment)
The new environment variable, new_environment, is essentially an object that contains all the structures within your RData file and can be accessed via typical R commands (i.e. $).
This code could easily be adapted into a GUI application for quick viewing of RData structures.