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It appears unclear why you want to -destring- 
in this circumstance, as your variables are not 
really numeric in content and you just run the 
risk of losing information. 

If, however, you need a numeric categorical variable 
for some purpose, e.g. -anova-, then -encode- 
not -destring- is the appropriate way to do it. 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

Suzy 
 
> I have a number of string variables in my dataset. Within 
> these string 
> variables are observations that are coded with either  numeric 
> categorical values coded like this: (4010, 40120) or with 
> dashes (4010-, 
> 4012-) meaning that these four codes represent four different things. 
> Each string variable has hundreds of different categories 
> that are coded 
> in this manner.  I'm trying to convert  the string variables 
> to numeric 
> and  also be able to retain analysing the observations that 
> the contain 
> dashes.
> 
> I've tried various destringing options such as these listed 
> below with 
> the following STATA response.:
> 
> .destring dxcode1, generate(dxcode1num)
> dxcode1 contains non-numeric characters; no generate
> 
> .destring dxcode1, replace
> dxcode1 contains non-numeric characters; no replace
> 
> I've e-mailed once before on this topic, so I apologize in 
> advance for 
> the redundant question, but I'm still having trouble and I'm not 
> computer/STATA savvy. If anyone has some beginner 
> user-friendly advice with explicit coding, it would be much appreciated.

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