Clear Filters
Clear Filters

How do I remove the empty cells from a vector of cells?

43 views (last 30 days)
I have a vector of cells which contain strings. Some of the cells in the vector are empty. I want to remove the empty cells from the vector.
Suppose I start with
strs = {'one','','two','three','','','four',''};
and I want to end with
strs = {'one','two','three','four'};
Rajiv Kumar
Rajiv Kumar on 12 Mar 2017
if I have B = {[1 0 0 4],[0 0 0 0],[0 0 1 0],[0 0 2 3]} I want to remove zeros entries like this B = {[1 4],[],[1],[2 3]} How it is possible in cell vector
Jan on 12 Mar 2017
Edited: Jan on 12 Mar 2017
@Rajiv: This is a completely different question. Please do not high-jack this thread, but open a new one. Thanks.

Sign in to comment.

Accepted Answer

Hy on 20 Jan 2011
The built-in function strcmp can compare a character array to a cell array of strings. Matching cells may be removed by setting them equal to the empty array.
strs(strcmp('',strs)) = [];

More Answers (4)

Matt Fig
Matt Fig on 20 Jan 2011
Probably the fastest approach:
strs = strs(~cellfun('isempty',strs)) % Call Built-in string
Jan on 21 Jan 2011
Or the other way around:
strs(cellfun('isempty',strs)) = []
Jan on 1 Feb 2011
This method is the most efficient solution.

Sign in to comment.

Ned Gulley
Ned Gulley on 20 Jan 2011
Here's one way to do it.
strs = {'one','','two','three','','','four',''};
empties = find(cellfun(@isempty,strs)); % identify the empty cells
strs(empties) = [] % remove the empty cells
This gives
strs =
'one' 'two' 'three' 'four'
  1 Comment
Jan on 1 Feb 2011
CELLFUN(@isempty) is remarkably slower than CELLFUN('isempty') as suggested by Matt Fig.

Sign in to comment.

Michael Katz
Michael Katz on 20 Jan 2011
I wanted to do:
strs = setdiff(strs,{''})
but turns out it reorders the output:
strs =
'four' 'one' 'three' 'two'
So, I wound up with this:
[~,ix] = setdiff(strs,{''})
strs = strs(sort(ix))

Bryan White
Bryan White on 1 Feb 2011
For variety:


Find more on Introduction to Installation and Licensing in Help Center and File Exchange


Community Treasure Hunt

Find the treasures in MATLAB Central and discover how the community can help you!

Start Hunting!