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## User-written commands

The Stata community is represented by a diverse group of researchers from a broad spectrum of fields, from anthropology to biostatistics, economics, finance, political science, psychology, public health, sociology, survey research, and zoology. Stata’s programming language lets users write commands that behave just like official Stata commands, and many users make their commands available to others through channels such as the Stata Journal, the SSC archive, or their own website. Stata’s search, net search, and ssc commands make finding and installing those commands a snap. So even if you don’t see something listed on our Features page, another user may have already written and made available a command to solve your problem.

Stata’s user-written commands are supported by the people who wrote them. StataCorp does not certify the validity of these commands, nor do we offer technical support for them. However, many of the authors are also members of the Statalist forum, and user-written commands are a frequent topic of discussion.

The number of available user-written commands is ever-growing, so even if a command is not currently available for your task, one may appear in the future. If you have installed Stata, you can easily locate a user-written command by using the search command to conduct a search based on keywords you specify. For example, say that you want to produce a forest plot, a type of graph common to meta-analysis. In Stata, you can type

       . search forest plot


You will then be presented with a list of potentially suitable commands, and you can click on the blue links to read more about them and to install them. If you do not yet have Stata, you can search the SSC archive. The SSC archive contains many, though not all, user-written commands.

Below we highlight just some of the categories of user-written commands available.