Select columns of a table using matching column names

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Enrico Gambini
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

Accepted Answer

Voss
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 Comments
Voss
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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