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Readtable extremely slow when excel file has formatting

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I'm having an issue with using readtable to read in an excel file. When I read in my excel file (which has formatting), the readtable command can take 30 minutes to read a single sheet. However, when I copied and pasted the values into a new excel sheet (no formatting), the command only took 10 s.
I've tried removing styles from the original workbook / sheet and clearing formatting, but oddly, the sheet still takes forever to process. Was wondering if anyone could explain to me why the original excel takes so long to process, but copying and pasting the values into a new sheet makes it so much faster to process.
FYI, I'm using Matlab2017a, although I had this problem with Matlab2016 as well.

Answers (1)

Jiro Doke
Jiro Doke on 15 Aug 2017
Edited: Jiro Doke on 15 Aug 2017
Have you tried setting the "basic" property to false?
t = readtable('file.xlsx','basic',false)
Bruce MacWilliams
Bruce MacWilliams on 17 Jun 2019
I had the same problem (2019a), taking 3 minutes to read a relatively small data set. Setting 'basic' to true fixed it, same file takes about 0.5 seconds. Thanks.
Marguerite Kennish
Marguerite Kennish on 16 Jul 2020
The basic true method cut my time from 67 seconds to 22 seconds.

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