MATLAB Answers


Turning a lot of variables into a string

Asked by Steve
on 17 May 2013

I have a list of some 500+ variable names in Excel. What I want to do is to turn them all into strings so I can use them in Matlab. Is there a way I can import the names in as a string without having to add ' ' around each entry?


Did you make some experiments with xlsread? It shouldn't be a problem?

Are you importing them using xlsread()? If so, the '' should not be necessary.

If you are just copy-pasting the names into Matlab, why not add a formula (in Excel) concatenating the '' to the variable name, using the CONCATENATE() function in Excel?

If you don't want to import automatically then you can just create an empty cell array and paste the excel data straight in.

data = cell(0); % Create empty cell array


No products are associated with this question.

1 Answer

Answer by Image Analyst
on 17 May 2013

[numbers, variableNameStrings, raw] = xlsread(fullFileName);

variableNameStrings should be a cell array with all your strings in it. See the FAQ for an explanation of cell arrays:


Join the 15-year community celebration.

Play games and win prizes!

Learn more
Discover MakerZone

MATLAB and Simulink resources for Arduino, LEGO, and Raspberry Pi

Learn more

Discover what MATLAB® can do for your career.

Opportunities for recent engineering grads.

Apply Today

MATLAB Academy

New to MATLAB?

Learn MATLAB today!