finding unique string variables from a column vector

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Dear all,
I insert an excel file into matlab as follows
clear
clear all
[data,text,all] = xlsread(A.xlsx');
mdata0=[all];
mdata1=num2cell(mdata0);
and I want to use the command
ismember(mdata1(:,5),unique(mdata1(:,5)))
where mdata1(:,5) contains string variables
but whenever I issue that command I get
??? Error using ==> cell.unique at 47
Input must be a cell array of strings.
Any suggestions?
thanks

Accepted Answer

Andrei Bobrov
Andrei Bobrov on 4 Jun 2012
[data,text,alld] = xlsread('A.xlsx');
mdata1 = alld(:,5);
t = cellfun(@(x)isnumeric(x),mdata1);
mdata1(t) = cellfun(@(x)num2str(x),mdata1(t),'un',0);
[out,out]= ismember(mdata1,unique(mdata1));

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