MATLAB Answers

Character to numeric - importing/conversion

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Emily Howes
Emily Howes on 13 Jul 2021
Commented: Emily Howes on 14 Jul 2021
My numerical data keeps importing from MS Excel as 'char' type. I set the target type as number when I was importing it so I'm not sure why. I would like the data to be a column vector of numeric data. I've tried the str2num and str2double functions but I receive the below error message.
>> class SoilMoisture
>> SM=str2num(SoilMoisture)
Error using str2num (line 35)
Input must be a character vector or string scalar.
Please could you help me find a way to either import my data as numeric type or if not, convert it once it's imported? Thank you.
Emily Howes
Emily Howes on 13 Jul 2021
Brilliant, thank you for your help. I have just tried this and it is now giving the answer as 'table'.

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Accepted Answer

Tanay Gupta
Tanay Gupta on 13 Jul 2021
Edited: Tanay Gupta on 13 Jul 2021
The problem you are facing is most probably because you are importing the heading as well and trying to convert that into a number.
Spreadsheets often contain a mix of numeric and text data as well as variable and row names, which is best represented in MATLAB® as a table thats the reason the data is imported as a character. You can import data in numeric format by using the Import Tool or the readmatrix function.
To learn to use the import tool click here. While importing the data through the above tool select the output type as numeric matrix. This will automatically import the data in double format.
You can also use the readmatrix function which provides the same functionality in form of code. Click here to learn more about it.
Hope it helps.

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