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Update multiple columns in table without loop, dot vs curly braces

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Jan Kappen
Jan Kappen on 9 Feb 2018
Commented: Jan Kappen on 12 Feb 2018
Hi all,
I'd like to convert multiple columns (Variables) in a table object to another class like categorical or double. So far I have to use a loop, could this be simplified:
t = table(string(rand(3,1)),{'a';'b';'c'},{'aa';'bb';'cc'},...
'VariableNames',{'shallBeDouble', 'shallBeCategorical1', 'shallBeCategorical2'});
tBak = t;
catVars = {'shallBeCategorical1','shallBeCategorical2'};
for field = each(catVars)
t.(field) = categorical(t.(field));
end
doubleVars = {'shallBeDouble'};
for field = each(doubleVars)
t.(field) = double(t.(field));
end
disp(tBak)
disp(t)
output:
shallBeDouble shallBeCategorical1 shallBeCategorical2
_____________ ___________________ ___________________
"0.85303" 'a' 'aa'
"0.62206" 'b' 'bb'
"0.35095" 'c' 'cc'
shallBeDouble shallBeCategorical1 shallBeCategorical2
_____________ ___________________ ___________________
0.85303 a aa
0.62206 b bb
0.35095 c cc
I could use varfun to create a table or a cell of categorical values, but I can't assign them simultaneously:
t = table(string(rand(3,1)),{'a';'b';'c'},{'aa';'bb';'cc'},...
'VariableNames',{'shallBeDouble', 'shallBeCategorical1', 'shallBeCategorical2'});
catVars = {'shallBeCategorical1','shallBeCategorical2'};
t(:,catVars) = varfun(@categorical, t(:,catVars))
results in
The following error occurred converting from categorical to cell:
Conversion to cell from categorical is not possible.
Can the content of a column only be changed using the dot operator? I thought this would be equal: t.{:,'var1'} and t.var1?
Thanks!

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