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a question regarding the format of dates

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antonet
antonet on 31 Jan 2013
Dear all, I have an excel file that contains among other columns, a date column. In that column the dates are either in this format '01/02/2009' or in that format ' 03/2009'
For instance
Out={
'Con' dates'
SP '01/02/2009'
kp ' 03/2009'}
The problem is that when I import this matrix in Stata then I get something like
Out={
'Con' dates'
SP 39722
kp ' 03/2009'}
So all the dates represented in this format '01/02/2009' appear as numbers in stata. Can I fix that within Matlab or within stata?
  3 Comments
antonet
antonet on 1 Feb 2013
In matlab looks like ok when I import this matrix, that is
Out={
'Con' dates'
SP '01/02/2009'
kp ' 03/2009'}

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Answers (2)

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 1 Feb 2013
needfix = strcmpn(Out, ' ', 1);
Out(needfix) = cellfun( @(S) ['01/' S(2:end)], Out(needfix), 'Uniform', 0);
And then convert the dates.
  3 Comments
antonet
antonet on 1 Feb 2013
Could you please give me some help? Am I doing anything wrong?
thank you

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owr
owr on 1 Feb 2013
If I were in your situation, I would try and do the formatting in Excel first and get all dates uniform before importing into MATLAB (or Stata). Excel in my experience seems to be better at "figuring out what you meant".
Try just highlighting and formatting the column in Excel into any fairly normal date format. It will change something like "3/2009" to "3/1/2009" for you. Once data is uniform, import into MATLAB. Even if you have to do this for a number of files it may be quicker in the long run than writing a general date parser in ML.

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