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add file to matlab using last date

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I have a bunch of files in a folder, with names that look like this:
I have a code that automatically updates the file using regexprep, amongst other things. right now, the code chooses the file with user input, for instances:
root = 'E:\MATLAB';
user_input_squad = input('please enter squad number: ', 's');
user_input_experiment = input('please enter experiment name: ', 's');
user_input_stage = input('please enter stage: ', 's');
user_input_session = input('Please enter session: ', 's');
file = fullfile(root, sprintf('squad%s_1910_EXP%s_St1_Se%s', user_input_squad, user_input_experiment, user_input_session));
Is there a way for matlab to pull the last file added, without the need for user input? something that sorts the directory by date, and chooses the first one?
this would have to be for a bunch of files, as they change periodically. for instance, there would be 2 files named
the squad number is the only chnage to the name. so if a user inputs squad 2, is there a way to automatically pick only the latest squad 2 file, without touching the others?

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Image Analyst
Image Analyst 20 Dec 2019
You can use dir() to get the file date/time stamps.
folder = pwd; % Whatever folder you want.
filePattern = fullfile(folder, '**\*.txt')
dirListing = dir(filePattern)
fileDates = [dirListing.datenum]
% Sort in descending order (most recent, latest date as item #1)
[sortedDates, sortOrder] = sort(fileDates, 'Descend')
% Sort files in that order.
dirListing = dirListing(sortOrder); % Rearrange using the new sort order.
fileNames = {}
% Let user know the most recent file.
message = sprintf('The most recent file is %s.\nIt has a date time stamp of %s', ...
fileNames{1}, datestr(dirListing(1).datenum))
fprintf('%s\n', message);
Let me know if it works for you (after obvious modifications of course).

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Image Analyst
Image Analyst 23 Dec 2019
Let's say you're in a loop where you want to find only the ones you want - that contain some string in the filename. Then do
numFiles = length(fileNames);
filesIWant = false(numFiles, 1);
for k = 1 : numFiles
if contains(fileNames{k}, 'squad1', 'IgnoreCase', true)
% Add it to our list.
filesIWant(k) = true; % Mark this one for inclusion.
% File name does not contain 'squad1' so nothing to do.
continue; % Skip to bottom of loop
% Extract only the ones we want
fileNames = fileNames(filesIWant);
avram alter
avram alter 23 Dec 2019
thanks for all the help so far! how would I insert the newest bit of code into the one that looks of it using the latest date? I don't know matlab so well, so I apologize if that is an obvious question.
Image Analyst
Image Analyst 24 Dec 2019
If you already have identified the most recent file's name, then you can simply see if that filename contains 'squad1' by using contains():
if contains(mostRecentFileName, 'squad1', 'IgnoreCase', true)
% Then the most recent file contains the string 'squad1' in its name.

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