num2cell

Convert array to cell array with consistently sized cells

Description

example

C = num2cell(A) converts array A into cell array C by placing each element of A into a separate cell in C.

The num2cell function converts an array that has any data type—even a nonnumeric type.

example

C = num2cell(A,dim) splits the contents of A into separate cells of C, where dim specifies which dimensions of A to include in each cell. dim can be a scalar or a vector of dimensions. For example, if A has 2 rows and 3 columns, then:

  • num2cell(A,1) creates a 1-by-3 cell array C, where each cell contains a 2-by-1 column of A.

  • num2cell(A,2) creates a 2-by-1 cell array C, where each cell contains a 1-by-3 row of A.

  • num2cell(A,[1 2]) creates a 1-by-1 cell array C, where the cell contains the entire array A.

Examples

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Place all elements of a numeric array into separate cells.

a = magic(3)
a = 3×3

     8     1     6
     3     5     7
     4     9     2

c = num2cell(a)
c=3×3 cell
    {[8]}    {[1]}    {[6]}
    {[3]}    {[5]}    {[7]}
    {[4]}    {[9]}    {[2]}

Place individual letters of a word into separate cells of an array.

a = ['four';'five';'nine']
a = 3x4 char array
    'four'
    'five'
    'nine'

c = num2cell(a)
c = 3x4 cell array
    {'f'}    {'o'}    {'u'}    {'r'}
    {'f'}    {'i'}    {'v'}    {'e'}
    {'n'}    {'i'}    {'n'}    {'e'}

Generate a 4-by-3-by-2 numeric array, and then create a 1-by-3-by-2 cell array of 4-by-1 column vectors.

A = reshape(1:12,4,3);
A(:,:,2) = A*10
A = 
A(:,:,1) =

     1     5     9
     2     6    10
     3     7    11
     4     8    12


A(:,:,2) =

    10    50    90
    20    60   100
    30    70   110
    40    80   120

C = num2cell(A,1)
C = 1x3x2 cell array
C(:,:,1) = 

    {4x1 double}    {4x1 double}    {4x1 double}


C(:,:,2) = 

    {4x1 double}    {4x1 double}    {4x1 double}

Each 4-by-1 vector contains elements from along the first dimension of A:

C{1}
ans = 4×1

     1
     2
     3
     4

Create a 4-by-1-by-2 cell array of 1-by-3 numeric arrays.

C = num2cell(A,2)
C = 4x1x2 cell array
C(:,:,1) = 

    {1x3 double}
    {1x3 double}
    {1x3 double}
    {1x3 double}


C(:,:,2) = 

    {1x3 double}
    {1x3 double}
    {1x3 double}
    {1x3 double}

Each 1-by-3 row vector contains elements from along the second dimension of A:

C{1}
ans = 1×3

     1     5     9

Finally, create a 4-by-3 cell array of 1-by-1-by-2 numeric arrays.

C = num2cell(A,3)
C=4×3 cell
    {1x1x2 double}    {1x1x2 double}    {1x1x2 double}
    {1x1x2 double}    {1x1x2 double}    {1x1x2 double}
    {1x1x2 double}    {1x1x2 double}    {1x1x2 double}
    {1x1x2 double}    {1x1x2 double}    {1x1x2 double}

Each 1-by-1-by-2 vector contains elements from along the third dimension of A:

C{1}
ans = 
ans(:,:,1) =

     1


ans(:,:,2) =

    10

Create a cell array by combining elements into numeric arrays along several dimensions.

A = reshape(1:12,4,3);
A(:,:,2) = A*10
A = 
A(:,:,1) =

     1     5     9
     2     6    10
     3     7    11
     4     8    12


A(:,:,2) =

    10    50    90
    20    60   100
    30    70   110
    40    80   120

c = num2cell(A,[1 3])
c=1×3 cell
    {4x1x2 double}    {4x1x2 double}    {4x1x2 double}

Each 4-by-1-by-2 array contains elements from along the first and third dimension of A:

c{1}
ans = 
ans(:,:,1) =

     1
     2
     3
     4


ans(:,:,2) =

    10
    20
    30
    40

c = num2cell(A,[2 3])
c=4×1 cell
    {1x3x2 double}
    {1x3x2 double}
    {1x3x2 double}
    {1x3x2 double}

Input Arguments

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Input, specified as any type of multidimensional array.

Data Types: double | single | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | logical | char | string | struct | cell | categorical | datetime | duration | calendarDuration | function_handle

Dimension of A, specified as a positive integer or a vector of positive integers. dim must be between 1 and ndims(A).

Elements do not need to be in numeric order. However, num2cell permutes the dimensions of the arrays in each cell of C to match the order of the specified dimensions.

Data Types: double | single | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64

Output Arguments

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Resulting array, returned as a cell array. The size of C depends on the size of A and the values of dim.

  • If dim is not specified, then C is the same size as A.

  • If dim is a scalar, then C contains numel(A)/size(A,dim) cells. If dim is 1 or 2, then each cell contains a column or row vector, respectively. If dim > 2, then each cell contains an array whose dimth dimensional length is size(A,dim), and whose other dimensions are all singletons.

    For example, given a 4-by-7-by-3 array, A, this figure shows how num2cell creates cells corresponding to dim values of 1, 2, and 3.

  • If dim is a vector containing N values, then C has numel(A)/prod([size(A,dim(1)),...,size(A,vdim(N))]) cells. Each cell contains an array whose dim(i)th dimension has a length of size(A,dim(i)) and whose other dimensions are singletons.

    For example, given a 4-by-7-by-3 array, you can specify dim as a positive integer vector to create cell arrays of different dimensions.

Data Types: cell

Extended Capabilities

See Also

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Introduced before R2006a