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Re: st: file wrote single opening quote

From   Roger Newson <>
Subject   Re: st: file wrote single opening quote
Date   Mon, 18 Nov 2002 17:14:45 +0000

At 15:43 18/11/02 +0000, Ulrich Kohler wrote:
Is there a way to wrote a single opening quote to a file with -file wrote-?

In a program I have the command

   file write texfile `"`line'"'

which wrotes the contents of the local macro `line' to the file handle
"texfile". The command works well except for lines which contains either a
local macro name (like `a') , or a single opening quote. In the first case
Stata expands the local macro name to the contents of the local macro. But I
want to have the local macro name (`a') in my file handle. In the second case
I got an error message because Stata thinks that there should be a valid
local macro name, which is not there.

I tried to escape each occurence of the single opening quote with the
backslash by substituting ` with \`. But

   local line: subinstr local line `"`"' `"\`"'

does not work for obvious reasons.  What else could be done?
I had essentially the same problem when I was writing my -intext- package (now downloadable from SSC - type -ssc describe intext-). The problem was discussed in a thread on Statalist, and a consensus seemed to emerge that the solution, in Stata as we know it, is to use -file- in binary mode (byte by byte) rather than text mode (line by line). You might like to look inside my -intext.ado- to see how I handled the awkward fact that a line of a text file is delimited by a linefeed under Unix, a carriage return under MacOS, and a carriage return and a line feed under Windows.

I hope this helps.


Roger Newson
Lecturer in Medical Statistics
Department of Public Health Sciences
King's College London
5th Floor, Capital House
42 Weston Street
London SE1 3QD
United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7848 6648 International +44 20 7848 6648
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