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Re: st: RE: extract portion of variable name to use in variable label

From   Andy Baxter <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: extract portion of variable name to use in variable label
Date   Mon, 09 Jun 2008 12:06:14 -0400

Thanks very much to Nick and Martin.  Problem solved.

Nick Cox wrote:
foreach v of var * { local last = substr("`v'", -2, 2) local last = cond("`last'" == "al", "Achievement Level",
"Scalescore") local first = substr("`v'", 3, .) local first = substr("`first'", 1, strpos("`first'", "_") - 1) label var `v' "`first' `last'" }
-----Original Message-----
Andy Baxter

I have a large data set in which the variable names reflect the subject and metric of a specific test, e.g., a_alg1_ss is the "Algebra 1 Scale Score."
All of the variable names have a common structure: a prefix of a_, a test identifier string, and a suffix of _[metric of test, e.g., al for achievement level or ss for scale score].
The current variable labels reflect the test metric, but not the test identifier.

Here is a subset of the variables:

. describe a_alg1_ss a_alg1_al a_alg1rt1_ss a_alg1rt1_al

storage display value
variable name type format label variable label
a_alg1_ss int %8.0g Scalescore
a_alg1_al byte %8.0g Achievement Level
a_alg1rt1_ss int %8.0g Scalescore
a_alg1rt1_al byte %8.0g Achievement Level

I am trying to write syntax that will extract the test identifier from the variable name and insert it into the variable label. I would like to wind up with:

variable name variable label
a_alg1_ss alg1 Scalescore
a_alg1_al alg1 Achievement Level
a_alg1rt1_ss alg1rt Scalescore
a_alg1rt1_al alg1rt Achievement Level

My Stata version is:
Stata/SE 9.2 for Windows
Born 20 Jul 2007

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