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Re: st: -trim()-ed but cannot -destring()-:- hidden text characters?

From   Roger Newson <>
Subject   Re: st: -trim()-ed but cannot -destring()-:- hidden text characters?
Date   Tue, 26 Apr 2005 16:03:01 +0100

At 15:07 26/04/2005, Dan wrote:
Hello list,

I am having a strange problem converting strings into numerical
format. I have a string which by all appearances is just a number. I
used trim() to make sure there weren't any hidden spaces, and then
attempted to -destring- again but with no luck. Trim indicates that
there weren't any changes made upon -trim-ing again...

If I -destring, force- I do get missing values for the majority of
values which appear to be trimmed numbers.

the file is at:

foreach var of varlist _all {
replace `var'=trim(`var')
destring rank, replace
destring rank, gen(nrank) force
tab rank if nrank==.

Are there other "hidden" characters which could be preventing
-destring- which I can erase?
There definitely seem to be in my copy. If you -list- this dataset, then you see numerous question marks, which are probably hidden characters, and also a lot of "/" characters.

The -char()- function might be useful here for erasing these (once you know what they are), together with the -subinstr()- function. See -whelp functions-.

Hope this helps.


Roger Newson
Lecturer in Medical Statistics
Department of Public Health Sciences
Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology
King's College London

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United Kingdom

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