I do my absolute best to minimize the amount of time Word is open on my computer desktop. Alas, when one collaborates widely, particularly with non-technical people, it is a necessary evil.

In these collaborations, I am typically doing either statistical or modeling work (or both). This often means that I am generating objects in R, such as Analysis of Deviance Tables, that I would like to put into the working document. This can be an enormous hassle, particularly when your data set is repeatedly updated and the table changes ever so slightly with each iteration of the paper. It’s not such a big deal for small tables, but when there are lots of covariates on the model it is a maddening, time-consuming, hypertensogenic experience.

This has been a particularly acute problem of late as we wind down to the final draft of two big papers with substantial data analysis (and fair sized analysis of deviance tables). I am not joking when I say a solution came to me in a fevered dream. I’m surprised it hadn’t occurred to me before, given past posts on related topics, but what can I say?

So, here is my basic Kekulé-esque idea: Output the table to a dummy LaTeX document using xtable. After texing, convert the file using LaTeX2rtf. It’s then a simple matter of opening the rtf file in Word. Copy and paste and *voilà tout*! Seems like it works pretty well. Can anybody think of a less Byzantine way to do this?