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Any good ways to read data from messy Excel files?

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Hi, I have some data in Excel files. They include variable names and variable contents (usually a column or a row) and some are two-dimension tables. They are spread in many sheets and files and not often in the same location of different sheets. So the usual xlsread, which is location-specific, does not help much. Is there a good way of reading them from Excel sheets? I know if they had been in text files, we can do low-level file I/O. However, if I export my data into text file, it will be even more messier... So I need some low-level import from Excel directly...
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dpb
dpb on 23 Nov 2015
There's always the third optional return from xlsread that is the raw data as all textual information you can then parse to locate what's of interest...

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