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st: RE: how to keep only the first letter of a string type variable


From   "Ypma, Jelmer Yeb" <jelmer@rand.org>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: how to keep only the first letter of a string type variable
Date   Fri, 15 Oct 2004 15:55:22 -0700

Hello Sarah,
 
> I have a variable of string type and I only want to keep the first
> letter in each observation. I tried to use "abbrev" function as below:
> 
> gen str11  newcountry = abbrev( country,1)
> 
> but it didn't work. Could you help me please? 

Stata has a function -substr-

    substr(s,n1,n2) returns the substring of s starting at n1 for a length of n2.  If n1<0,
        the starting position is interpreted as distance from the end of the string.  If n2
        is missing (.), the remaining portion of the string is returned.

For instance if you have a variable "date" with values
199902
200011
...
substr(date,1,4) will return the first 4 digits
1999
2000
...
and substr(date,-2,.) will return the last two digits
02
11

Good luck!

Jelmer

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