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From |
Jeph Herrin <jherrin@flyingbuttress.net> |

To |
statalist <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu> |

Subject |
RE: st: RE: percent format |

Date |
Mon, 13 Jun 2005 21:41:30 -0400 |

Thanks for confirming that there's no natural way to format percentages. While labels work fine if you know ahead of time what your values are, more general applications require (as far as I can tell) embedding (100 times) the value in a string. I agree that units are best stated only once, but there are always exceptions. Some journals have awkward guidelines for their tables and figures. The problem most recently arose for me in creating a series of figures where the units turn out to be in hundredths of a percent; putting 0.01,0.02, etc along the axis with "percentage points" in the title seems to confuse more than clarify - practiced readers still want to see them as 1%, 2%, etc. So I wanted 0.01%, 0.02%,... along the axis. However, I will be making a lot of these, and sometimes the labels will even be in half hundredths - 0.015%, etc - so using value labels on the fly is a real nusiance. Obviously - judging from the posts here - reasonable people differ on the need for a % format, but that would be reason enough to add it and let reasonable people decide what works best for them. On a similar note, as regards:

(although vibratory patterns in graphs are banned until the end of time).

I often submit figures to journals, including high-impact medical journals, that refuse grey-scale figures. As long as Stata continues to ban hatching or speckling or such, I have no choice but to export my data to, eg, Excel for creating figures for submission. And while some will say that proper labeling would get around this, I retort that if it were so there would be no reason for Stata to support greyscale. cheers, Jeph

I doubt you're missing anything. If you say within a -*label()- option .375 "37.5%" you are saying that even though the number is really .375 you want a display of "37.5%". This is a self-knitted percent format on the fly. As you are being straight with Stata, and Stata understands you exactly, and this is well understood as a need and well documented, I fail to see that any trickery is involved, let alone required. The only issue, as has been pointed out more than once already, is that a percent format would might less typing whenever you want this. Those who prefer to say "%" once can already do it concisely by just displaying the text character; those who prefer that a series of percents should all bear the percent sign will miss a percent -format- much more. Nick n.j.cox@... Fred WolfeIt isn't so much the labels as the formatting of numbers. Suppose one has a 0/1 variables indicating positive/negative. Then in hbar, for example, I can get .375 to display with blabel. However I really want 37.5 or sometimes 37.5%. I can only do that by tricking Stata - unless I am missing something At 12:36 PM 6/13/2005, you wrote: >I have suggested this as a possibility privately >to StataCorp, although I have two moods about it. > >In either a graph or a table, I find repeated >percent symbols to be a constant element that >should be factored out, as it were, and used >just once, for example in a row or column heading or >in an axis title. > >However, it is arguable whether StataCorp >should play arbiter of elegance (for which >the historical precedents are not attractive) >whenever enough users really want something >(although vibratory patterns in graphs are >banned until the end of time). > >However, I don't know exactly what Jeph means here by >conversion to string. You can use labels on >the fly, as in > >... , yla(0 "0%" 10 "10%") ... > >the only problem being the tedium of typing. > >I'll add -prefix()- and -postfix()- options to >my -mylabels- if I sense enough interest. > >Nick >n.j.cox@... > >Jeph Herrin > > > I often work with percentages, and find it somewhat annoying that > > I have to convert numbers to strings to get them to show up with > > a %-sign. This is particularly a nusiance with graphs, where > > a histogram > > that might naturally use %s on the y-axis cannot be persuaded > > to do so without generating the frequencies first, relabeling them > > as strings with %s, and then making a two-plot. Is there a trick that > > I don't know about? Is there a reason that Stata avoids, eg, > > -format %6.1p-? > > Seems like it would be a trivial modification at some level. > > > > BTW, I use Stata 9, in case it matters.* * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/findit.html * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

* * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/findit.html * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

**Follow-Ups**:**RE: st: RE: percent format***From:*Fred Wolfe <fwolfe@arthritis-research.org>

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