R-studio is reading my excel data wrong, how do I fix this?

Hello, I have a problem with exporting an excel file into R-studio. I am quite new to R-studio, and are trying to make a data set separated by depths (dyp) and dates. Right now R-studio is reading the depths as values (see the picture). How do I make R understand that I am trying to separate the values by the depths?

Screenshot 2023-10-24 at 09.47.13

Hi, welcome to the forum. Can you give us the code that you are using to read in the Excel file. Just copy it and paste it here between


Usually screen shots are of little use but could you give us a screenshot of the top of your Excel file. I think it is likely the layout is confusing R and we may be able to tell from the screenshot.


For general information have a look at FAQ Asking Questions](FAQ: How to do a minimal reproducible example ( reprex ) for beginners)

Hi! Thanks for your reply! I am using the import dataset function under file, and therefore no code to read in the excel file. Here is a screenshot of how my excel file looks.
Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 08.32.18

R is reading your file correctly, what's the issue? Do you want the upper row not as column names?

I want R studio to understand that the different values belong to different depths. I kind of want row names and column names (the dates and the depths). Now R studio is reading the depths as values.

My end goal is to make a heat map showing the change over time for the different depths. I am very new to R-studio, and I feel like this problem actually has a simple solution, but I am completely stuck:)

HI! After you choose import dataset and after import excel data, apper a windows and it is possible to look how is the table before to import it inside R. It is possible to have a picture about this window?

As @ DBScan says, R is reading the file correctly. What R is doing is assuming that Row 1 of the Excel file consists of the names of the columns of your data.

Oh, wait a minute. If you want the Dyp column to be names rather than numbers we can just change it to character values.

If we call your dataset "mydata" try

mydata$Dyp  <- as.character(mydata$Dyp)

It is not a good idea in R to have column names that are look all numeric. It is probably better to have the first row of your Excel file look something like

 Depths   D24.05  D7.06 

I hope I have understood the problem.

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Perhaps you should read the discussion above.

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