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Re: st: Use a few observations from a tab-delimited or csv file

From   "Sergiy Radyakin" <>
Subject   Re: st: Use a few observations from a tab-delimited or csv file
Date   Wed, 20 Aug 2008 11:06:15 -0400

Dear Todd,

option 1 - consider Stata 64bit if you are working with large files
option 2 - split the file into manageable chunks (say, 10000obs, and
read them in separately) write it out in the Stata format keeping only
variables that you need
option 3 - split the file "vertically" by reading only required variables first

Stat\Transfer (if available) might be a good option too. It does not
load all the data into the memory but ruther process it by small
chunks, and it does allow you to select particular variables - so you
can prepare a batch file and run it from Stata when needed.

   Sergiy Radyakin

On 8/20/08, Todd D. Kendall <> wrote:
> Dear Statlisters,
> I have a file that is currently in csv format (or I could easily
> convert it to tab-delimited).  It is fairly large: roughly 80,000
> observations and 2,200 variables.
> In fact, it is too large to fit into Stata (I am running Stata 9.2 on
> a Windows XP machine with 1 GB of RAM).  The maximum memory I can
> allocate to Stata is -set mem 636m-.  When I try to simply insheet the
> file at this setting, I get only 16,276 observations read in -- not
> anywhere close to the whole file, so I don't think there are any easy
> tweaks to make this work.
> However, it turns out that, for roughly the last 2,000 variables, I
> really don't need every single variable; instead, I just need a few
> summary statistics calculated over these 2,000 variables (e.g., the
> mean or standard deviation).  My idea is to write a simple do file
> that loads in, say, the first 15,000 observations, computes the mean
> and standard deviation of the 2,000 variables, then drops these
> variabes and saves as a .dta file.  I would then repeat on the next
> 15,000 observations, and so on.  Then I could just append all the
> little files together, and I would assume I could fit this into Stata,
> as it would only have around 200 variables instead of 2,200.
> My problem is that insheet doesn't work with "in" -- i.e., I can't
> write -insheet filename.csv in 1/15000-.  Alternatively, if I could
> convert the file from csv into a fixed format, I could write a
> dictionary and use infix, but my Google search for how to convert a
> csv file into a fixed-column file has come up pretty dry.
> Am I barking up the wrong tree completely here, or am I missing
> something obvious?  I greatly appreciate any suggestions.
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