Need to find files in a dir structure with similar but not identical names

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Alex
Alex on 28 Jul 2014
Commented: Image Analyst on 30 Jul 2014
I am trying to pull data from multiple files in a directory. I have written a for loop to get to the specified file, but when I search for the file using an * is cannot be found. For example, the file name 072814_Nominal.xls and another file in the same directory might be called 081213_Nominal.xls. I want to pull date from only files with "Nominal" in the name. I have tried using the below loop
D=dir(pathname);
for i=1:length(D)
if D(i).name=='*Nominal.xls' %this line is trouble - says matrix dimensions must agree
filename=fullfile(pathname,D(i).name);
temp(i)=xlsread(filename,'Sheet1','R4');
else
end
end
but I am getting the "Error using ==", "matrix dimensions must agree" error and I cannot find a way to make Matlab find the file that looks like 'Nominal' or 'Nominal.xls' (I have tried both). Please help!
  1 Comment
per isakson
per isakson on 28 Jul 2014
  • See regular expressions or
D = dir( '*Nominal.xls' );
' Matlab don't support anything close to D(i).name=='*Nominal.xls'

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Accepted Answer

Ahmet Cecen
Ahmet Cecen on 29 Jul 2014
Look for an implementation of grep or agrep for MATLAB. However if your problem has a monotonic redundancy, I might be able to suggest an alternative. For example, if you are only concerned about files ENDING with a very specific name (without possibility of spelling errors) such as '_nominal.xls', then here is a very lazy way to do it.
files = dir('*.xls');
for k = 1:length(files)
current=files(k).name;
check(k)=strcmp(current(end-10:end),'nominal.xls');
end
list=find(check);
images = cell(1, length(list));
for k = 1:length(list)
data{k}=AN_APPROPRIATE_LOAD_FUNCTION_FOR_XLS_WITH_YOUR_PARAMETERS(files(list(k)).name);
end
Now only files whose name has the last 11 characters exactly 'nominal.xls' is loaded into the cell data.

More Answers (3)

Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 29 Jul 2014
Don't use
D(i).name=='*Nominal.xls'
use strfind() instead
if ~isempty(strfind(D(i).name, 'Nominal.xls')) % Don't use *Nominal use Nominal
  4 Comments
Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 30 Jul 2014
I agree with the others. strfind would have worked if you had just tried it, and as per just proved. The fact that a time stamp is somewhere in the filename does not matter at all - not sure why you thought it would unless you just didn't even read the documentation for the strfind function.

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per isakson
per isakson on 29 Jul 2014
An alternative
D = dir( fullfile( pathname, '*Nominal.xls' ) );
for jj = 1 : length(D)
filespec = fullfile( pathname, D(jj).name );
temp(jj) = xlsread( filespec, 'Sheet1','R4');
end

John
John on 29 Jul 2014
Hi. I would like to add one piece of advice. In MATLAB, string comparisons for the purposes of logical testing are best done with 'strcmp'. You likely got that matrix dimensions error because strings in MATLAB are character arrays and if the filenames have different lengths then so will the character vectors that represent them. Strcmp, strfind, etc... are the way to go for string comparisons.

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