version (14.4 KB) by Tigran Mkhoyan
a simple Matlab config parser for ASCII based files


Updated 9 Jun 2018

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A simle config parser for types of string,boolean, vector,cell and matrix values. The parser uses simple headers with customizable header and comment delimiters. In other words use a delimiter of your preference for comments ( e.g. // or %, or ) and setting headers (e.g. {myoption1} or [myoption2]). De delimiters can be provided to readConfig as second and third input for comments and headers respectively. First option is the path to the config file.
The parser will generate a stuct with settings that are accecible via same header names. Example:
in config file --> set option with
1 2 3
in matlab file --> acces vector [1 2 3] opt struct with
The parser will automatically recognize the following types:
- (single) path/string = string with pathname/caracter
- (multiple) path/ = 1xm cell with m pathnames listed after {header}
- boolean = false or true logical (case sensitive!)
- vector = simple 1xm vector with m space separated values after header
- cell/matrix = 2D matrix with m columns (space separated values) and n rows (lines after header).
Note that the function returns a cell. To convert to array simply do cell2mat(opt.mycellarray)
File type is also customizable (i.e. txt or conf or whatever)
NOTE: do not put headers on the first line of the config file, this is intended for a short description like so: // name_of_config

order of headers is not relevant
create a txt file similar to config.txt e.g.
put desired header names in a cell with strings (order is not relevant but caracters must match)
acces config with:
[options] = readConfig('path/to/config',headernames,'//','{}',false); % varargin: 1=commentdelim, 2=headerdelim 3: -
loadOptionsList is a local function to create the header names. If this is not desired simply use:
optionsList = { 'path' , 'paths' , 'boolean' , 'vector' , 'cell' };
Usage of 2.0 functionality:

- as of 2.0 the parser will recognize pwd command. so using:
{mydir} --> {mydir}
pwd --> path/to/location/calling/master/function
In other words if you call readConfig with mast.m located at ~/somedirectory/ the options.mydir = ~/somedirectory/

Parser will now also allow variable additions. In other words if you define a variable {mydir} you can use this to construct a new variable composed partially or fully of {mydir}. Example:

use {mydir} to definecomposite path variable


Now the {myotherdir} will point to a folder level higher than {mydir} (this is due to addition ../)
This can also be use for addition of any string variables. Note that the functionality doesn't work yet for numeric values. In case there is interest i might consider adding that.

UPDATE 2.2.: for simulinkparser see my other submission -->
now the runtimesettings can be set using two methods:
1. via providing ordered variable arguments.
2. Via providing name tag of runtime option followed by the value e.q. readconfig(...,'structnamefieldfillelemn','__',...) irrespective of the order of variable argument this usage of readConfig will pick the right configuration for the explicit setting

example usage:

readConfig('config/config.txt', 'structnamefieldfillelemn', '___') is equavalent to readConfig('config/config.txt','//', '{}',true, '_', ...) (note how with the old method all preceding variable arguments must be provided to set the 'structnamefieldfillelemn' )
This particular option now replaces all caracters '/' and spaces in the header names with the desired fielname fill element '___'.

usage 3.0 --> update:
- parsing symbolic variables e.g. c2 = @ c1^2*2 (any expression allowed)
- parsing nested variables e.g. c3 = @ c1*2+10 (Parser evaluates
variables recursively such that nested relationships are allowed irrespective of ordering in the config file

example: --->

c1 = 0.01
k1 = 1.1
//using nested variables
c2 = @ 2844.4*c1+12

// also works for vars defined later in the file
n1 = @ c2*2

Cite As

Tigran Mkhoyan (2022). tmkhoyan/configParser (, GitHub. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2017b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Inspired: tmkhoyan/simulinkParser

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To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.
To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.