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From: Gadi Reinhorn <greinhorn@mathworks.com>
Newsgroups: comp.soft-sys.matlab
Subject: Re: Importing .xlsx files in parallels
Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2013 12:16:35 -0500
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The functionality you need was added in R2012a:
http://www.mathworks.com/help/releases/R2012a/techdoc/rn/bs7oakc-1.html#btau8hq

xlsread Reads XLSX Files on All Platforms

The xlsread function now reads data from XLSX files on all platforms, 
including support for specifying the range and worksheet number. 
Previously, this functionality was available only on Microsoft Windows 
systems with Excel® software.


Gadi