Converting from Numeric to String

Function Summary

The functions listed in this table provide a number of ways to convert numeric data to character strings.

Function

Description

Example

char

Convert a positive integer to an equivalent character. (Truncates any fractional parts.)

[72 105]'Hi'

int2str

Convert a positive or negative integer to a character type. (Rounds any fractional parts.)

[72 105]'72 105'

num2str

Convert a numeric type to a character type of the specified precision and format.

[72 105]'72/105/' (format set to %1d/)

mat2str

Convert a numeric type to a character type of the specified precision, returning a string MATLAB® can evaluate.

[72 105]'[72 105]'

dec2hex

Convert a positive integer to a character type of hexadecimal base.

[72 105]'48 69'

dec2bin

Convert a positive integer to a character type of binary base.

[72 105]'1001000 1101001'

dec2base

Convert a positive integer to a character type of any base from 2 through 36.

[72 105]'110 151' (base set to 8)

Converting to a Character Equivalent

The char function converts integers to Unicode® character codes and returns a string composed of the equivalent characters:

x = [77 65 84 76 65 66];
char(x)
ans =
   MATLAB

Converting to a String of Numbers

The int2str, num2str, and mat2str functions convert numeric values to strings where each character represents a separate digit of the input value. The int2str and num2str functions are often useful for labeling plots. For example, the following lines use num2str to prepare automated labels for the x-axis of a plot:

function plotlabel(x, y)
plot(x, y)
str1 = num2str(min(x));
str2 = num2str(max(x));
out = ['Value of f from ' str1 ' to ' str2];
xlabel(out);

Converting to a Specific Radix

Another class of conversion functions changes numeric values into strings representing a decimal value in another base, such as binary or hexadecimal representation. This includes dec2hex, dec2bin, and dec2base.

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