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How to write cell array into a csv file

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Hello Everyone, I have a cell array C where the first row is string and the remaining rows contain numbers. How do I write the variable C into a CSV file?
For example,
c = {'abc' 'def' 'ghk';[23],[24],[67];[87],[13],[999];[656],[6767],[546]};

Accepted Answer

Cedric on 5 Apr 2013
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 27 Nov 2018
To write the data in C to a CSV file. Use “writetable” in combination with the “cell2table” function.
% Convert cell to a table and use first row as variable names
T = cell2table(c(2:end,:),'VariableNames',c(1,:))
% Write the table to a CSV file
For more information see:
Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 19 Oct 2015
Sara Khalifa's flag moved here:
Great Solution. Thanks!
Bidisha Das
Bidisha Das on 29 Aug 2018
What if I want the csv file in append mode?

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More Answers (8)

Jon on 5 Apr 2013
You could do it as follows with fprintf
c = {'abc' 'def' 'ghk';[23],[24],[67];[87],[13],[999];[656],[6767],[546]};
fid = fopen('junk.csv','w')
fprintf(fid,'%s, %s, %s\n',c{1,:})
fprintf(fid,'%f, %f, %f\n',c{2:end,:})
Jalaj Bidwai
Jalaj Bidwai on 8 Apr 2013
Jonathan,Fanstastic. Both of the ways have worked for me..Thank you for the help..I really aprreciate it...
Harsha Vardhana Padullaparti
Jonathan, Perfect! Thanks so much for your input.

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Vibhav Gaur
Vibhav Gaur on 21 Jun 2021
writecell(c, 'c.csv')

Azzi Abdelmalek
Azzi Abdelmalek on 5 Apr 2013
Edited: Azzi Abdelmalek on 5 Apr 2013
use csvwrite functionn
Jon on 5 Apr 2013
csvwrite only works on numeric arrays, not cell arrays with strings and numbers
Youcef Yahiaoui
Youcef Yahiaoui on 19 Sep 2015
Azzi,good to see your comments here. I usually use fprintf(fid...) for the first header lines then use csvwrite with the option -append...

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Zumbo_123 on 7 Jan 2016
Alternatively, you could use the method developed by Sylvain Fiedler. Below is the link to the file. It works with empty cells, numeric, char, string and logical cells. One array can contain all of them, but only one value per cell.

Peter Farkas
Peter Farkas on 9 Oct 2017
Convert to table and use writetable function T = cell2table(c(2:end, :)); T.Properties.VariableNames = c(1:end, :); writetable(T, res.csv);

Aaron Thrasher
Aaron Thrasher on 20 Apr 2018

I came to this page looking for an answer and found that all solutions were very slow for large arrays that include numeric and char based cell arrays of non-standard combinations. Instead, I created my own based off of previous comments and other research. I hope this helps someone as it has helped me reduce the time significantly.

function cellWrite(filename,origCell)
% save a new version of the cell for reference
modCell = origCell;
% assume some cells are numeric, in which case set to char
iNum = cellfun(@isnumeric,origCell);
%% Method 1 using indexing and straight conversion = 7 sec
modCell(iNum) = cellstr(num2str([origCell{iNum}]'));
% toc
%% Method 2 using arrayfun = 25 sec
% tic
% modCell(iNum) = arrayfun(@num2str,[origCell{iNum}],'unif',0);
% toc
% tic
[rNum,cNum] = size(origCell);
frmt = repmat([repmat('%s,',1,cNum-1),'%s\n'],1,rNum);
fid = fopen(filename,'w');
Aaron Thrasher
Aaron Thrasher on 20 Apr 2018
Correction to the code - the cell needs to be transposed before writing because the data is written left to right vs. matlab reading cell top down.
Michael Barrow
Michael Barrow on 19 Oct 2019
Thanks for sharing your work!

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Yoram Segal
Yoram Segal on 27 Aug 2018
convert the cell to a table and save the table as CSV
TT = array2table(C,'VariableNames',{'abc' 'def' 'ghk'});
To read it back you can use TT = readtable(filename)

TripleSSSS on 4 Apr 2019
Matlab now support write from cell array to file
please check: writecell


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