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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Avoiding R Tool Character Errors

Community Content Engineer
Community Content Engineer
Created on

Errors from the R tool, and macros using R, such as the Association Analysis tool, can be a challenge to troubleshoot.  Since R is very particular about naming conventions, and the R macros are very particular about delimiters, one easy way to preemptively limit these errors is to make sure your field names are R-friendly and compliant.

 

Best practices is to use only letters, numbers and the underscore.  Any special characters will likely upset R. One hint is "Error: No valid fields were selected."  This means that one of the Pipe-to-Rows tools embedded in the R macros could not appropriately parse the field names.

 

For example, the following errors came from the Association Analysis tool, where the field names contain the gamut from asterisks to ampersands:

 

Error: Association Analysis (4): The Action "select fields A" has an error: ParseError: Expected entity name for reference at line 7 and column 30 while processing "Action_UpdateRawXml"

Error: Association Analysis (4): The Action "select fields A" has an error: ParseError: Expected whitespace at line 13 and column 63 while processing "Action_UpdateRawXml"

Error: Association Analysis (3): The Action "select fields A" has an error: ParseError: Unterminated entity reference, 'test' at line 4 and column 30 while processing "Action_UpdateRawXml"

 

If you have a thousand fields with every special character, don't fret.  Dynamic Rename and regex to the rescue!

 

Using the Rename Mode: Formula, select all your fields, and replace any non-word character with an underscore:

 

both.JPG

 

Crisis averted!  Happy Alteryx-ing.