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How to use correctly a string from a variable into a for loop??

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Jonathan Fernandez
Jonathan Fernandez on 23 May 2020
Answered: Rajani Mishra on 27 May 2020
Hi all,
Firstly thank you for your time!
I'm working in a matlab script for data analysis and plotting from a csv file. I'm trying to use a variable name into a for loop to get the data on a specific table column but I can't get it right...
A simplified version of my code is:
Ch_sLap ='distancelap';
sLap = CSV_Import.(Ch_sLap);
for i=1:length(Channels)
if exist(char(Channels(i)))
char(Channels(i)) = CSV_Import.((fprintf('%s\n', Channels{i})));
What I want to do is:
  • Import a csv file with some data arranged in columns with headers into a table
  • Find the column which is named "distancelap" on that table
  • That column header (distancelap) is coming from an array of strings that I've created previously
  • Then, if I find the column using this: sLap = CSV_Import.(Ch_sLap); is working fine
  • But instead of that, if I use the for loop (In case I had a long Channels array) I can't make it to work because it takes "Ch_sLap" instead of its value which is "distancelap"
I can do it without the loop and just put one by one all the variables of the Channels array but I don't like it at all...
What do you think???
Thank you!!


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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 23 May 2020
You do not have an array, you have a table. And those table variables do not have newlines in their names.
Channels_struct = table2struct(CSV_Import(:,Channels));
This does not do checking to be sure everything in Channels is in CSV_Import; you would get an error if there were a problem.
Or if you prefer for some reason:
Channels_struct = struct();
known_channels = find( ismember(Channels, CSV_Import.Properties.Variablenames) );
for K = known_channels
Channels_struct.(Channels{K}) = CSV_Import.(Channels{K});
This filters down to only the Channels that are in the table; it also illustrates copying one at a time, which might be of interest to you for other reasons.
Jonathan Fernandez
Jonathan Fernandez on 24 May 2020
I've been checking what you proposed Walter and it still gives me the same problem. I may not explained myself correctly:
In the Channels table one of the column is named "distancelap".
That name ("distancelap") is inside the Ch_sLap variable, I mean:
Ch_sLap = 'distancelap'
What I want is to find the 'distancelap' column in the table from a command. If I use this:
Channels_struct = table2struct(CSV_Import(:,Channels));
it tries to find Ch_sLap in the table, but what I want to find is 'distancelap' (The string placed inside Ch_sLap).
I hope not to be a pain...
Thank you!!

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Answers (1)

Rajani Mishra
Rajani Mishra on 27 May 2020
By writing below mentioned code you are creating a string variable with value as 'Ch_sLap' and storing in cell array Channels. Hence, it takes column name as 'Ch_sLap'.
I created a table mentioned in the first example on this page and tried your code. I changed "Channels" array into the following way (variable 'Ch_sLap' has value 'Age') :
for i=1:length(Channels)
Above code was able to print values present in 'Age' column.


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