I was wondering if there an equivalent of the "uigetfile" Matlab function to use it in Mathematica.

To be more precise, I want to read many Excel files and I don't want to type a static path; instead, I want to be able to go each time and search for it, like in the browse window.

Here what I want to do in steps:

  1. Search the directory of my Excel files using the "SystemDialogInput" probably, in order get the path of the directory.

  2. Store the directory in a string.

  3. Load the name of all the Excel files inside the this directory.

  4. Make a loop and read each of the Excel files based on some condition then perform some calculations.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please describe in more detail how you would like this to work. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Jan 27, 2015 at 9:11

3 Answers 3


While I wait for a more complete description of your needs please see:

And try:




You probably want a workflow similar to this. First locate one or more Excel files:

files = SystemDialogInput["FileOpen", {NotebookDirectory[], {"Excel File" ->{"*.xlsx","*.xls"}}},
WindowTitle -> "Import Excel File"];

Then import the selected files and do something with the imported data (what that something is, we don't know so no point in speculating):

If[files =!= $Canceled && files =!= $Failed,
(* a single file will be a string, several files will be in a list *)
 tmp = Which[
StringQ[files], Import[files],
ListQ[files], Import /@ files,
True, (* some warning message *)
 (* then do something with tmp *)


If you want to import csv files then change

{"Excel File" -> {"*.xlsx","*.xls"}}


{"CSV File" -> {"*.csv"}}

If you would like to choose between Excel and CSV then

{"Excel File" -> {"*.xlsx", "*.xls"}, "CSV File" -> {"*.csv"}}

If you would like both Excel and CSV to be available to select then

{"Excel or CSV File" -> {"*.xlsx", "*.xls", "*.csv"}}

...and so on.

  • $\begingroup$ I managed to form a string now that has now all the files in repertory for example "basecase", how to keep only csv files? $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Jan 27, 2015 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ @kevin please see my edit $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2015 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for teaching me Unsame $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2015 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thx a lot..it is more clear $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Jan 28, 2015 at 12:53

It seems more consistent with the Matlab uigetfile function to say

fnams = FileNames["*.xlsx"|"*.xls"];
selectedFile = ChoiceDialog["Choose File", fnams];

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