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RE: st: RE: graph plot region size control

From   Laura Gibbons <>
Subject   RE: st: RE: graph plot region size control
Date   Wed, 7 Nov 2007 15:41:54 -0800 (PST)

Nick, these are some great tricks that I was not aware of. Thank you!

In the second section, the over variable is rep78, not foreign. I changed the stack command to:

stack price foreign weight rep78, into(data foreign) clear

Now I get a problem I had before when I tried a less elegant approach. The groups are now "Domestic Foreign 2 3 4 5". Is there a way to fix that so that the value 1 is labeled "Foreign" in the first figure and "1" in the second? Also there must be a way to supress the not applicable values; I haven't investigated that yet.

Finally, I'd like the ylines only on the applicable section, 4000, 8000 for foreign and 2000 3000 for rep78. Am I dreaming?!

Many thanks,


On Wed, 7 Nov 2007, Nick Cox wrote:

If not -by()-, then -over()-:

use, clear

// tuck labels away carefully
local l1 : var label price
local l2 : var label weight
tempfile mylabel
label save origin using `mylabel'

stack price foreign weight foreign, into(data foreign) clear

// bring back labels
label def _stack 1 "`l1'" 2 "`l2'"
label val _stack _stack
do `mylabel'
label val foreign origin

// now...
graph hbox data, over(foreign) over(_stack) yline(2000 3000 4000 8000)
xsize(3.25) ysize(2.375)


Also, consider

. stripplot price weight, by(foreign) box

And many variations on that. (-stripplot- is from SSC.)

Come to think of it, anything wrong with

. graph hbox price weight, over(foreign)



-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Laura Gibbons
Sent: 07 November 2007 22:48
Subject: Re: st: RE: graph plot region size control

Nick and Maartin rightfully took me to task for giving up without
explaining my actual goal.  I apologize and appreciate your continued

I am trying to make (a series of) graphs that are the same size, where
plot regions are also the same size.  Because the lengths of the labels
vary, the plot regions are adjusted by Stata and I have no way to
them directly.  It's not wrong, but it makes quick comparisons more
difficult.  Below is the type of graph I need to make.  The values for
yline will vary between graphs.  Note that in this public example, price

and weight measure different things, so it would seem silly to try to
compare them, but in my real graphs, the variables are on the same
and I set the x axis to be the same range in all graphs.


graph hbox price, over(foreign) yline(4000 8000) xsize(3.25)
graph export f1.wmf, replace

graph hbox weight, over(rep78)	yline(2000 3000) xsize(3.25)
graph export f2.wmf, replace

Though the overall sizes are the same, the plot region in f2 is larger
because the labels are shorter.

Since I last emailed, I have figured out how to improve things with the
relabel option (below).  Probably if I used a fixed (monospace) font or
added more spaces I could get pretty close.  But if there is a way to do

this with by() or twoway, I'd love to learn it.  And I would like there
be an option to set the plot region size.

graph hbox weight, over(rep78, 			///
relabel(1 "       1" 2 "       2" 3 "       3" 4 "       4" 5 "
yline(2000 3000) xsize(3.25) ysize(2.375)
graph export f3.wmf, replace

Thanks for any advice you may have, and for keeping me honest!

On Wed, 7 Nov 2007,
buis wrote:

--- Laura Gibbons <> wrote:
Unfortunately my graphs are more complicated than the bar graphs in
the original post, so by() isn't an alternative.  But if I could
control the  size of the plot region, I'd be home.  It looks like I
need to settle for  uneven plot region sizes or use a different
graphing program, and neither  option is appealing.
I can tell from experience that a surprising lot can be done with
-by()-, even in very very complicated graphs (though you may need to
use some tricks). So my gues is that you can do this with -by()- and
thus save you a lot of trouble. If you don't tell us in what way your
graphs are so complicated I cannot give you more advise than this very
vague encouragement to have another good look at the by option.

*   For searches and help try:

Laura E. Gibbons, PhD
General Internal Medicine, University of Washington
Box 359780
Harborview Medical Center
325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA  98104

phone: 206-744-1842   fax: 206-744-9917
Office address: 401 Broadway, Suite 5122
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