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23 Mar 2011 (Updated )

Get the contents of a specified directory

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cont = get_contents(directory)
cont = get_contents(directory,options)
[cont,dirflag] = get_contents(...)

This function returns the contents of a specified directory.

cont = get_contents(directory) returns the files and folders in directory and returns them to the cell array cont. It ignores hidden files and folders (those starting '.'). Directory must be a character array (string).

cont = get_contents(directory,options) allow search options to be specified. The options are specified in parameter/value pairs, and include:
    'rec' {false} | true
                Search recursively within the subfolders of the specified directory.
    'path' {'relative'} | 'full'
                Specifies whether returned paths are full or relative to the specified directory.
    'sort' {false} | true
                Specify whether the output is sorted alphabetically.
    'filter' {'all'} | 'files' | 'folders' | '*.ext' | str
                This option allows a filter to be specified. 'files' returns names of all files in the directory. 'folders' returns names of all folders in the directory. '*.ext', where 'ext' is a user-specified file extension, returns all files with the extension '.ext'. str may be any string; only elements that contain str will be returned (files or folders). str is case-sensitive.

[cont,dirflag] = get_contents(...) returns a logical array dirflag, the same size as cont, indicating whether each element is a directory.


    Ex. 1

    % Return all m-files in the current directory

    cont = get_contents(cd,'filter','*.m')

    Ex. 2

    % Return all files in the current directory and its
    % sub-directories

    cont = get_contents(cd,'rec',true)

    Ex. 3

    % Return all files in current directory with names
    % containing 'foo'
    % may return files and folders:
    [cont,dirflag] = get_contents(cd,'filter','foo')

    % use dirflag to limit:
    cont = cont(~dirflag);

MATLAB release MATLAB 7.11 (R2010b)
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28 Mar 2011 1.1

Updated help

10 Aug 2011 1.2

Added a keyword, allowing specific file extensions to be returned

11 Aug 2011 1.3

Some bug fixes. Additionally outputs a directory flag.

18 Jan 2012 1.4

Some bug fixes and additional inputs options permitted, including a recursive option. Input now in parameter/value pairs.

25 Apr 2013 1.6

Simplified interface such that str is not required (now varargin option). Also made sort and rec flags logical rather than strings.

03 Jun 2013 1.7

Minor update to help text and description.

03 Jun 2013 1.8

Minor update to file help text and description.

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