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How can I list current directory and subdirectory files as a vector?

Posted on 2010-11-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
I want to list all files in the current directory and all the ones in any of its subdirectories in a vector. I know dir lists the files in the current directory as a struct array. I want to be able to search this list for a filename (as a string), maybe using findstr.
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Question by:Mario271
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by:Eyal-f
Eyal-f earned 150 total points
ID: 34226346
As you said, you can use dirto get a struct array with the list of files in the current directory, e.g.

filelist=dir('*.txt')

if you want to search through the file names, you can use arrayfun with, e.g. strcmp:

l=arrayfun(@(x)strcmpi(x.name,'aaa.txt'),filelist)

will return a vector the same length as filelist, with 1 at the index of the file named aaa.txt and 0 otherwise.

Another option is to convert filelist.name into a cell array. One way to do this is with the deal function:

A={};
[A{}]=deal(filelist.name)

and then you can use strcmp or other functions which operate on cell arrays, or use cellfun
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Expert Comment

by:Eyal-f
ID: 34226378
As far as searching subdirectories - you can do this with a loop in two ways:

1) Recursively - use dir, find which files in the resulting array are folders, use dir on each of them, etc.

2) You can also generate a list of all the subfolders of a given directory using genpath. so, you could do something like this:

folderstring=genpath('d:\');
folderlist=regexp(folderstring,';','split')

and then loop through the elements of folderlist:

for k=1:length(folderlist)
   filelist=folderlist{k};
   :
end
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Expert Comment

by:Eyal-f
ID: 34226386
Two corrections/notes:

1) when using genpath, I think the last character in the vector is a semicolon, so you should skip it in the loop one way or another (e.g. use k=1:length(folderlist)-1 or use an if statement to check the current folder name is a valid folder)
2) if you have a structure array of files generated by the dir structure, the isdir field of a gievn element is 1 if it is a folder.
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Author Comment

by:Mario271
ID: 34227160
This is very helpful! Thank you. When I use genpath, am I putting in the name of my directory? I was trying it out and kept getting an empty string. I guess my question is what does the notation d:\ mean? Does it allow genpath to just automatically go through the current directory for subdirectories?
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yuk99 earned 350 total points
ID: 34227593
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Expert Comment

by:Eyal-f
ID: 34227942
You need to input the name of the top directory you're searching, so in this example, genpath('d:\') will give a string containing the root of D: and all the folders and subfolders on the partition. for another example, genpath('c:\windows') will give you the windows folder and all its subfolders.
If you omit this argument, you will get the folders in matlab/toolbox.
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