# MATLAB Programming/Cell Arrays

## Contents

# Cell Array Introduction[edit]

Cell Arrays can contain differing information in every element. These types of arrays are useful when interacting with spreadsheet software.

## Creating Cell Arrays[edit]

Cell arrays follow the same conventions as regular arrays except instead of square brackets use curly brackets.

array = [1, 2, 3; 4, 5, 6]; cell_array = {1, 2, 3; 4, 5, 6};

Cell arrays have fewer limitations than regular arrays. The regular array can hold strings; however, the string in each element must be the same length. If one element in a regular array is a string then all elements must be a string. Cell arrays have neither of these limitations.

cell_array = {1, 2, 'a', 'abc'; rand(3, 2), magic(3), eye(3), 'junk'} cell_array = [ 1] [ 2] 'a' 'abc' [3x2 double] [3x3 double] [3x3 double] 'junk'

With fewer limitations for the content of a cell array comes complications. While cell arrays are a powerful tool, these arrays work differently because each element can be almost anything.

## Dynamic Resizing[edit]

Cell arrays can be dynamically resized, which is a key feature in more advanced data structures. For example, a queue data structure using the commands:

cell_array{end+1}='a'; cell_array{end+1}='b';

An element can be popped from the front of the queue using the commands:

cell_array(1)=[]; % remove first element - resize cell_array(1)=[]; % remove first element - resize

## Uses[edit]

### GUI Tables[edit]

Cell arrays are used when displaying a table to a figure.

uitable('Data',{'hello',1;2,'there'})

## Converting to and from cell arrays[edit]

### Converting From a Numeric Array into a Cell Array[edit]

Use **num2cell** to convert from a numeric into a cell array.

>> cell_array = num2cell(numeric_array);

### Converting From a Cell Array into a Numeric Array[edit]

Use **cell2mat** to convert from a cell into a numeric array.

>> numeric_array = cell2mat(numeric_cell_array);