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st: Split a variable that has no markers


From   "Julia A. Gamas" <jgamas@mit.edu>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: Split a variable that has no markers
Date   Thu, 14 Oct 2004 15:03:33 -0400

Dear all,
I have an alfanumeric (string variable) such as 9002346-A or 15120657-4.  I
need to split this up into groups of smaller digits as follows:

Original            variable 1          variable 2          variable 3
variable 4
9002346-A        9                        002                   346
A
15120657-4      15                       120                   657
4

The split option seems to only allow me to do this if there are spaces (or
other markers, such as commas) within that variable, ie. 9 002 346-A or
9,002,346-A, which is not my case).
I can't find an option within "strfun" which may help unless I've
misunderstood the instructions for "char(n)" and "index".
Also, note that 9 and 15 are different in size, adding a bit of complication
to the issue.
What I want to do can be done in excel (for smaller files) using
"left(variable location, number of characters)" and "right" functions.  Does
anybody know if Stata has functions akin to "left" and "right" from excel?
I can't seem to find any on the online help or stata archives.
Thank you for any help you can give me.
Sincerely,
Julia A. Gamas

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