One of the columns with character type does not open as it should


Hello, RStudio Community.
The problem i am dealing with is that when i load my data from the readr package every column opens properly but only the column with character type((Description, Cat2_name, Cat3_name) does not open.Insted , it shows questions marks but the expected output would be ΕΙΔΟΣ ΕΚΤΟΣ ΣΥΛΛΟΓΗΣ (ΝΕΡΟ). I am not sure if the problem is that the output must be in greek . I do not know if there is an argument from the **read_tsv()**that i must use for character type columns. I have searched everywhere but i didn't found any solution. Unfortunately, i cannot make a reprex becuase of the structure of the problem. The import code that i used for loading the data was Categories.csv = readr::read_tsv('Categories.csv'). Any suggestions?
Thank you in advance

Hello Anestis,

Character encoding is really a big headache in R while on Windows. Write in your terminal :


and check the encoding in the output. If it says UTF-8 then your data are written in another encoding. Symbols for characters means that you are telling R to read data in e.g. UTF-8 encoding and actually data contain characters in another encoding. So you must know the encoding of your data and read them setting the locale properties to match encodings. UTF-8 should do the job.

You can also use the read.table function from base R.

read.table("data.tsv, sep = '\t', header = TRUE, encoding = "UTF-8")

if this isn't working for your data, open the file with Libre Calc and export them as a csv using UTF-8 encoding and then try to read it.

You must know that on Windows, R and encoding have problems. Try to be sure that your data are always in UTF-8 encoding. I personally prefer to do all the job on my Linux platform, save it as RData for example and then everything on Windows with a UTF-8 locale encoding is working like a charm.

I hope this is helpful. I'm a Greek too and this is really a big problem.

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Thank you vangeli for the helpful solution.
The problem does not exist anymore :wink:

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