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Split the given string into characters

Asked by Abdul Rehan Khan Mohammed on 17 May 2018 at 11:47
Latest activity Commented on by Image Analyst
on 18 May 2018 at 16:30

I have a column in my table that has values such as '2.6ELKUxQKWPVJVHxxxxC.4xxxIxSxJJxxxxx', it has altogether 37 single characters. I want to split the string into 37 different columns for further data analysis. I have tried using 'split' function, but it doesn't work.

  1 Comment

"I want to split the string into 37 different columns..."

Your char vector already has 37 columns. This is easy to check:

>> str = '2.6ELKUxQKWPVJVHxxxxC.4xxxIxSxJJxxxxx';
>> size(str)
ans =
    1   37

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3 Answers

Answer by Image Analyst
on 17 May 2018 at 14:02
 Accepted Answer

Here's an example for 8 columns. You can expand it to 37 columns.

ca = {'1.6ELKUxQKWPVJVHxxxxC.4xxxIxSxJJxxxxx'; '2.6ELKUxQKWPVJVHxxxxC.4xxxIxSxJJxxxxx'; '3.6ELKUxQKWPVJVHxxxxC.4xxxIxSxJJxxxxx'}
t = cell2table(ca)
% Now we have our table.
% Extract this one column:
col1 = t{:,1}
% Make 37 cell arrays
ca1 = cell(37, 1);
ca2 = cell(37, 1);
ca3 = cell(37, 1);
ca4 = cell(37, 1);
ca5 = cell(37, 1);
ca6 = cell(37, 1);
ca7 = cell(37, 1);
ca8 = cell(37, 1);
for row = 1 : length(col1)
	thisRow = col1{row};
	ca1{row} = thisRow(1);
	ca2{row} = thisRow(2);
	ca3{row} = thisRow(3);
	ca4{row} = thisRow(4);
	ca5{row} = thisRow(5);
	ca6{row} = thisRow(6);
	ca7{row} = thisRow(7);
	ca8{row} = thisRow(8);
t2 = table(ca1, ca2, ca3, ca4, ca5, ca6, ca7, ca8)


Here's an example for 8 columns. You can expand it to 37 columns.

Eww! I'm sorry but no. Numbered variables are an abomination. In addition there seems to be a mix-up between rows and columns since t2 ends up as 37 rows x 8 columns table.

I stand by my initial statement that the whole exercise is completely pointless. It's trivial to index character of a char array so adding an unnecessary extra level of indexing is a waste of time. I certainly don't see the point in stuffing individual characters as columns of a table. Tables are designed to store heterogeneous data, not this.

But if it's really what's needed, then

t2 = array2table(cell2mat(t{:, 1}))

is a lot simpler than this looping and numbered variables.

Thanks! yes, it is a lot simpler.

Yes simpler, but I agree with Guillaume that it's better to leave it as a string and not create a table with all those columns.

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Answer by KSSV
on 17 May 2018 at 12:12

str = '2.6ELKUxQKWPVJVHxxxxC.4xxxIxSxJJxxxxx' ;
iwant = cell(1,length(str)) ;
for i = 1:length(str) 
    iwant{i} = str(i) ;


Much simpler to use num2cell:

iwant = num2cell(str);
on 17 May 2018 at 13:23


And even much simpler is not to bother at all. str already has 37 different columns. Each one can be accessed with str(columnindex).

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Answer by Guillaume
on 17 May 2018 at 13:31

A char array such as

str = '2.6ELKUxQKWPVJVHxxxxC.4xxxIxSxJJxxxxx'

already has different columns. If you want to access column 6 of str, it's simply:


Exactly the same as when accessing columns of a numerical matrix.

  1 Comment

He means columns of his table, not columns of that string.

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