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Re: st:How to input a portion of a file

From   "Sergiy Radyakin" <>
Subject   Re: st:How to input a portion of a file
Date   Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:33:49 -0500

On Feb 18, 2008 9:26 AM, Joseph Wagner <> wrote:
> I have data I wish to input a portion of into STATA.  Data is collected
> on patients by a machine that measures their gait as they walk.  A text
> file is output for each patient with columns representing variables
> (each about 130 lines long) but the multiple observation data doesn't
> start until line 29.  The first 28 lines are taken up with short lines
> of data describing the patient.  Unfortunately, I also need a couple of
> those lines in 'header' area.  The 29th line has the variables names but
> they do not line up directly with the columns of data so I figured I
> could just label the data later.  The data I need starts 30 lines down
> at column 115 and includes the next 4 columns and goes down 100 lines.
> I realize there are easier ways to do this but I have data on about 300
> patients (and so one file for each person) and wanted to automate this
> input (followed by successive merging of files to get my final dataset).
> I wanted to use the -infix- command but have never used this command
> before and my attempts so far have failed.  I also tried using -infile-
> with the _first(30) option and the _line(30) option but those didn't
> seem to work either.
> Here is a dictionary I attempted with just one of the variables:
> dictionary using "c:\data\gait\SBS00001_20050607_1.nrm" {
>        _line(30)
>        _column(115) r_grf_vrt_frc %5f
> }
> infile using SBS00001_20050607_1.dct
> unexpected end of file
> (5 observations read)
> The other problem is that it didn't seem to pull the data corresponding
> to that column.  I thought perhaps there was a problem with the data not
> being in a fixed format but if I try -insheet- all the data imports and
> the correct data lines up in the individual columns.  Of course I could
> write some programming whereby I delete the unneeded variables and line
> but that's kind of sloppy.

I am not sure, but this may be an indication that the data is indeed misaligned!
Insheet looks for separators, such as commas or tabs, while infile reads data
with fixed offsets. The fact that the data was read correctly using
insheet, does
not mean that it is aligned properly. I suggest you manually delete
all the beginning
lines that you don't need, and then try to import your data into
Excel, there you
will also have options fixed/separated, try fixed and see whether it imports ok.
Also check if you have tabulation/commas/spaces between the values. It may be
the case that you actually need to use insheet.

You've mentioned that those few values that were read in are also incorrect?
Were they located in the original file to the right from the values
you wanted to read in?
If so, this may also be an indication of the delimited file format.

Try to get the first variable right, then second, and see if there are
any problems there.
Check, what is so special about line 5 (or 35?) in the file you are reading in.

Finally, make sure that you are not trying to read-in the data from
the dictionary itself
(you have about 5 lines in your dictionary file??) but rather you are
using a dictionary file
to read in data from the datafile.

Regards, Sergiy

> I am using STATA ver. 8.2
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