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st: Getting straight on graphs


From   Dick Campbell <dcamp@uic.edu>
To   "statalist-hsphsun2.harvard.edu" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: Getting straight on graphs
Date   Mon, 03 Jul 2006 15:23:00 -0500

--- Suzy <scott_788@wowway.com> wrote:

> 3. I know I'll probably get slammed from other users on this
> sight, but I still think the graphics are way too complex
> (inflexible) and/or boring, and I do have the graphics manual for
> Stata v. 9. The Stata graphics are just not fun IMHO. I've found
> the best graphs have come from the user generated programs, and
> not the main Stata program.

In response to this Freidrich Huebler gave excellent advice -- get Michael
Mitchell's book, which is one of the classiest examples of graphic book production
since Tufte. However, I will agree that the syntax of the graph command
can be a bit formidable. Graph Intro, best read via the help file because you
can click on the various examples to see how they look on screen, is a great
introduction, However, there are lots of choices available in graph and sometimes
it is a bit hard to find them.

For that, I actually found that a bit of experimentation with the graphics menus helped
me to figure out how things worked. One can get the same thing by going
through some of the built up graph sequences in the Mitchell book, but in any case,
its useful to try to get the concepts straight. There is a very firm logic underlying
the structure of -graph- . What the menus do is show you, in drop downs, just what
the various choices are, for symbols, colors, sizes etc. These choices are all
listed somewhere in [G], but it can be a bit hard to find them.

Finally, a word to regarding "slammed." To disagree with someone is not to
"slam" them. I have actually seen very few examples, perhaps none, of
rude behavior in reading this list over the past several years, but I have seen many
examples of patience and gentle instruction devoted to people (including
myself) who might have read a manual or two first.



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