How to convert cell array containing text to numbers?

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Abhishek Chakraborty
Abhishek Chakraborty on 3 Apr 2021
Edited: Matt J on 3 Apr 2021
I have a cell array containing a mixture of numbers and letters. I want to remove all the letters and keep only the numbers in it. The cell array is:
>> A(3:12,:)
ans =
10×4 cell array
{'60E' } {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[9.5850e-06]}
{'61.875E'} {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[3.1450e-05]}
{'63.75E' } {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[7.1122e-05]}
{'65.625E'} {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[7.2475e-05]}
{'67.5E' } {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[9.0740e-05]}
{'69.375E'} {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[9.7142e-05]}
{'71.25E' } {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[1.1910e-04]}
{'73.125E'} {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[1.6324e-04]}
{'75E' } {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[1.6622e-04]}
{'76.875E'} {'8.571307N'} {'Jun-Sep 1979'} {[1.4362e-04]}
But I want to convert it into a numeric array containing numbers only. For example, the first 2 rows of the modified array should look like:
A=[60 8.571307 1979 9.5850e-06; 61.875 8.571307 1979 3.1450e-05];
How to do that?

Accepted Answer

Matt J
Matt J on 3 Apr 2021
Edited: Matt J on 3 Apr 2021
I don't think there is any solution that will work without any assumptions about the alphabetic content of the cells. Here, I assume that undesired text is either entirely to the left or right of the desired number in each cell:
A={'1.3E','Jun-Sep 2.6'}
A = 1×2 cell array
{'1.3E'} {'Jun-Sep 2.6'}
for i=1:numel(A)
tmp=A{i};
if ~ischar(tmp), continue; end
m=isletter(tmp);
j=find(m,1); k=find(m,1,'last');
tmp(j:k)='';
A{i}=str2double(tmp);
end
A=cell2mat(A)
A = 1×2
1.3000 2.6000

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