MATLAB Answers


Importing Matrix from text or csv files

Asked by Brian
on 20 Feb 2012

I have a large matrix that I'd like to import, preferably in one command into a few different Matlab variables. I have been attempting to use "importdata" but it doesn't seem to respect the row headers because many of them are numeric (CUSIPS). I have a file that's roughly 1000x500 with one row of column headers and one column of row headers. Does anyone know how I can import this data all at once? If not all at once, what's the easiest way to go about importing it all when I'm not quite sure how many columns I will have in total? In the end I should have two arrays of column headrers (text) and a matrix of numerical data.

Thanks a lot, Brian


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1 Answer

Answer by the cyclist
on 21 Feb 2012
 Accepted Answer

Personally, I like the readtext() function from the FEX for mixed-type files:

This is not to be confused with the MATLAB function textread(), whose help file has the quote "If the file contains any text data, an error is produced." :-)


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I am getting the data to import into one large cell where I have actual text data in column 1 and dates in row1. No matter what I try I can't get the dates to be converted to something that Matlab will recognize. Any idea how to do this? My dates are imported but have no '' around them.


I think you should launch a new question on this, and add more detail around what the text that you are importing looks like (possibly with an example).

Thanks - just did so here ->

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