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array2table won't accept variable name input

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Bob Thompson
Bob Thompson on 24 Mar 2021
Commented: Bob Thompson on 24 Mar 2021
I am attempting to turn an array into a table before I output it into a file, and I am running into an error when I attempt to try and put variable names into my table.
data = randi(100,10,5);
headers = {'T','1','2','3','4'};
tabl = array2table(data,'VariableNames',headers);
Error using array2table (line 62)
'1' is not a valid variable name.
Error in TestCode (line 3)
tabl = array2table(data,'VariableNames',headers);
I don't understand why '1' is not a valid variable name. Can I not use numbers, even when they're a string? I have confirmed the class is 'char' for the actual contents of the headers cell, but it still doesn't seem to like it.

Accepted Answer

Jan
Jan on 24 Mar 2021
Which Matlab version are you using? In the current version 2021a I find:
doc table
% Variable names can have any Unicode® characters,
% including spaces and non-ASCII characters.
Your code run without problems.
In former Matlab versions the variables of tables needed to be valid Matlab symbols: < 64 characters, ASCII, no spaces, initial character cannot be an underscore or digit.
  1 Comment
Bob Thompson
Bob Thompson on 24 Mar 2021
I'm using 2016b, so it has to start with a letter, and can't contain spaces.

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More Answers (1)

Sean de Wolski
Sean de Wolski on 24 Mar 2021
Edited: Sean de Wolski on 24 Mar 2021
Support for invalid variable names was added recently so you're probably on an older release that required >>isvarname(varname) to be true.
You can
  1. upgrade
  2. call: matlab.lang.makeValidName to turn your names valie
  3. Change the names to valid yourself "One", "Two" would be valid...
  1 Comment
Bob Thompson
Bob Thompson on 24 Mar 2021
Unfortunately, I'm not capable of upgrading.
I'm also not sure if I am capable of modifying the validity of names, and would prefer to avoid that option.
So, in the end I did end up changing the names by adding an alphabetical character at the beginning of each number.

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