How to work with observed dates in the format 'dd/mm/yyyy' imported from Excel into MATLAB.

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Victor Lartey
Victor Lartey on 16 Mar 2021
Commented: Victor Lartey on 23 Mar 2021
Hello, please I am trying to import a dataset, which contains observed dates, from excel into MATLAB. The dates are in the format 'dd/mm/yyyy'. Example, 22/01/2021. When I store the column containing the dates under 'Datetime', the data cannot be imported. It can be imported when stored under 'Categorical'. In the latter case, I find it difficult to convert using 'datestr' function. Please, apart from changing the date format in excel before importing (example 22-Jan-2021), is there any other faster way to go about this? Meanwhile, I have thousands of observed dates to work with. Hence converting them 'manually' in excel would be time consumimg. Thanks very much.

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Accepted Answer

Cameron B
Cameron B on 16 Mar 2021
%simulate your data input. i assume it is a string. if not just change your
%input to make it a string.
b = strings(20,1);
for a = 1:length(b)
b(a,:) = sprintf('%d/2/2020',a);
slashLoc = strfind(b,"/"); %find where the slashes are located
for x = 1:length(slashLoc)
yourday(x,1) = str2double(extractBetween(b(x),1,slashLoc{x}(1)-1)); %your day
yourmonth(x,1) = str2double(extractBetween(b(x),slashLoc{x}(1)+1,slashLoc{x}(2)-1)); %your month
youryear(x,1) = str2double(extractAfter(b(x),slashLoc{x}(2))); %your year
newdate = datetime(youryear,yourmonth,yourday); %format new datetime

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