Solved: how to read excel file

The ability to read into MATLAB data from an Excel file is a necessary skill for many engineers. This feature allows for seamless transition between the data analysis and manipulation power of both Excel and matlab. This article will delve into the specifics of this process, touching on the common issues encountered and the functions indispensable to reading data from Excel files into MATLAB.

Firstly, to solve this problem, the principle function utilized is READTABLE. This function, provided by MATLAB, reads tabular data from the file and allows you to select which data columns to read, specify the data type to return, and return metadata. READTABLE reads data from a file and creates a table. You can import data from spreadsheet files using functions like READTABLE or the Import Tool. Your data can be either in the form of a CSV, XLSX, or any other spreadsheet file format supported by MATLAB.

filename = 'My_Excel_File.xlsx';
table = readtable(filename)

With this, MATLAB reads all the data from the specified excel file ‘My_Excel_File.xlsx’ and stores it in a table. You can then call on different sections of the table as required.

The Utility of the READMATRIX Function

Another handy function that compliments READTABLE is READMATRIX. This function reads a matrix of numeric, logical, or char data from a spreadsheet file. This is particularly useful if you want to retrieve data that doesn’t contain a mix of datatypes, just a single one.

filename = 'My_Excel_File.xlsx';
Matrix = readmatrix(filename);

In this case, MATLAB would return a matrix containing the numeric data found in ‘My_Excel_File.xlsx’.

Other utilized terminologies

In addition to READTABLE and READMATRIX, it is important to note the use of ‘filename’. In MATLAB, filename is a string that provides the name of the excel file to be read. This must of course include the extension of the file, typically ‘.xlsx’ for most Excel Files.

The Writetable function

In contrast to READTABLE, the WRITETABLE function is used to write table T to the first worksheet in the Excel file, starting at cell A1.

filename = 'My_Excel_File.xlsx';

Here, MATLAB would write the content of the table T to the specified file ‘My_Excel_File.xlsx’. If there are any existing data in the file already, this function would overwrite those data.

Note: READTABLE, READMATRIX and WRITETABLE are part of the broad file import and export operations accessibility provided by MATLAB. The semantics of these functions are such that they encapsulate a variety of intricacies that make these operations quicker to perform and easier to understand.

Understanding these capabilities and intricacies will undoubtedly aid your journey in mastering the flexibility that MATLAB offers, taking a step towards more efficient data management and robust analysis approaches.

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