# Select columns of a table using matching column names

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Enrico Gambini on 14 Jun 2022
Commented: Voss on 15 Jun 2022
Hello everyone!
I'm facing the following problem: I have a cell array containing strings, let's call it "v"
On the other hand I have a huge table , let's call it "T", from which I want to select only the columns that have the column name that corresponds to the names contained in vector "v".
Any kind of help will be appreciated
Thank you
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### Accepted Answer

Voss on 14 Jun 2022
v = {'Var1' 'Var3'}
v = 1×2 cell array
{'Var1'} {'Var3'}
T = table([1;2;3],[4;5;6],[7;8;9])
T = 3×3 table
Var1 Var2 Var3 ____ ____ ____ 1 4 7 2 5 8 3 6 9
% a table of the selected columns of T:
new_T = T(:,v)
new_T = 3×2 table
Var1 Var3 ____ ____ 1 7 2 8 3 9
% or, the data from the selected columns of T:
new_T_data = T{:,v}
new_T_data = 3×2
1 7 2 8 3 9
##### 2 CommentsShow NoneHide None
Enrico Gambini on 15 Jun 2022
It worked, thank you! And what if not all the elements in v are present as column names in T?
Voss on 15 Jun 2022
If not all elements of v are column names of T, you can use ismember to get just the elements of v that do correspond to column names of T:
v = {'Var1' 'Var3' 'Var4'}
v = 1×3 cell array
{'Var1'} {'Var3'} {'Var4'}
T = table([1;2;3],[4;5;6],[7;8;9])
T = 3×3 table
Var1 Var2 Var3 ____ ____ ____ 1 4 7 2 5 8 3 6 9
v_to_use = v(ismember(v,T.Properties.VariableNames))
v_to_use = 1×2 cell array
{'Var1'} {'Var3'}
And use that the same as v was used before:
new_T = T(:,v_to_use)
new_T = 3×2 table
Var1 Var3 ____ ____ 1 7 2 8 3 9
new_T_data = T{:,v_to_use}
new_T_data = 3×2
1 7 2 8 3 9

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