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Re: st: MAC Questions

From   "Michael S. Hanson" <>
Subject   Re: st: MAC Questions
Date   Tue, 25 Mar 2008 22:29:02 -0400

On Mar 22, 2008, at 2:54 PM, Phil Schumm wrote:

On Mar 22, 2008, at 7:57 AM, Fred Wolfe wrote:

1) In Windows I could open more than one version of Stata at a time. How is that done on the MAC?
You can't have multiple instances of GUI Stata running on OS X.
Technically, Phl's statement is not correct. But it isn't easy or convenient, and Phil's suggestion of using the console version is probably preferred. But it is possible:

Locate your copy of Stata in the Finder. Right-click or control- click on the icon and select "Show Package Contents" from the popup menu. In the window that opens, double-click on the Contents folder, then on the MacOS folder. You should see two icons (files): stata- se and StataSE, for example. The former is the one Phil mentions below. The latter is the GUI version. If its icon looks like a miniature computer terminal, double-click on it. If not, right-click on it, select "Open With >", and select Terminal from the popup list. If you already have a copy of Stata running, this will launch another. You'll see a second Stata icon in your dock, and you can use the application switcher (Cmd-Tab) to move between them. Unlike with Windows, however, there isn't an visual indication to distinguish them in the dock (save location) or the application switcher.

(Note: The above works for me on Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger). Your MacPro likely shipped with Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard), to which I do not have access. I suspect it should still work, but would be curious to learn if it does not.)

If you need multiple instances, you can use the console version. On my system, I start this (from the Terminal) with the command


which, for convenience, I suggest adding to your executable path.
Indeed, if you have some facility with Unix (i.e., the Terminal), you can create a shell alias for this command. Notice that if you substitute "StataSE" for "stata-se", this command will launch the GUI rather than the console version. (That is, this is a one-line shortcut for the list of steps above.)

2) As also use Stata on the PC, what is the best way to save do and adofile with respect to end of line (EOL) settings so that they can be read in windows and in the MAC?

As you may know, in the days before OS X, the standard EOL character on the Mac was a CR. Now the OS X standard has become -- like Unix/Linux -- a LF, though a few Mac apps still use CR as the default. Of course, Windows still uses (as it always has) both a CR and a LF.

Stata, like all good cross-platform apps, is able to handle all three types of line endings transparently. So, as long as you're working within Stata, you should be fine.
Note that it is possible to tell Stata in Mac OS X to use either the Unix (LF) or Mac (CR) EOL delimiter. Look under "Preferences > General Preferences" in the Stata menu. Unfortunately, IIRC it is not possible to set the PC and Mac versions of Stata to use identical line endings, so....

IMHO, the most important thing you should do for yourself first is to select a good text editor for use with OS X. My personal favorite is TextMate, and I can send you a Stata bundle for it if you wish. In my view, TextMate is the most powerful, easy-to-use, and just plain beautiful text editor for OS X. Of course, if you also spend a good deal of time in Windows, then you might want to consider a cross-platform editor (e.g., Emacs, vim, JEdit or Alpha). However, I'd urge you to give TextMate a try. In fact, there's even a TextMate-like application for Windows (http://www.e-, though I don't believe the TextMate developer is involved in the project and I've never tried it.

The important point (before I got distracted) is that any good text editor will -- just like Stata -- be multilingual WRT the different line endings, so if you use one to edit your Stata files you should be all set.
Agreed. Personally, I have not been able to grok TextMate -- despite paying good money for it -- probably because I have used BBEdit for so many years. Both are acceptable editors for using Stata; in my opinion BBEdit has less of a learning curve, but is marginally less capable and substantially less customizable. It does have a *free* little cousin called TextWrangler (Google it) that should serve your purposes well (albeit with even fewer bells and whistles). Should you decide to use either BBEdit or TextWrangler -- and I recommend you try either alongside TextMate to find which works best for you -- be sure to check out the Stata language module (for syntax coloring) and the Stata scripts at <http://>.

An afterthought: I believe Stata will read .do files regardless of the platform on which they are created (i.e., line endings), but I no longer have access to a Windows version to test that claim. .dta, .gph, etc. files should be completely cross-platform.

Hope this helps.

-- Mike

P.S. All computers have a MAC (media access control) address, even PCs.

P.P.S. Mac : PC :: abbreviation : initialism.
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