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Re: st: Video from multiple graph exports

From   Michael Hanson <>
Subject   Re: st: Video from multiple graph exports
Date   Wed, 03 Dec 2008 18:03:01 -0500

On Dec 3, 2008, at 4:20 PM, Martin Weiss wrote:

"Export the Stata graphs as PDF format.  (A feature only available
in the Mac version, I believe.)"

In Windows, -gr export- as .eps and use !epstopdf from your MikTeX distribution. Not much more effort than on the MAC...



Fair enough. My point was not to suggest that one OS was superior to another, but simply to flag steps that may differ by OS. My note was meant to be consistent with Nick Cox's recent suggestion of distinguishing OS-crucial from OS-incidental details.


However, based on my experience with colleagues and students who use Stata, as well as on many years of reading and participating on Statalist, I would venture to suggest that installing any TeX distribution, and using any command line utility, is a significant hurdle for a large number of users, regardless of platform. Installing Acrobat Pro likely would be easier for most people, albeit (significantly) more expensive. Mac OS X has the ability to natively create PDFs, and thus Stata on the Mac to natively export to PDF, without extra software. Perhaps this is possible natively in some versions of Vista?

That said, I also tend to produce EPS files, as Stata gives finer control over exporting in that format than in PDF, and then convert to PDF either with Preview (Mac OS X's image editor) or with a command line tool such as epstopdf, installed as part of MacTeX.


Germane to the original question, I understand (again from colleagues) that PowerPoint 2003 does not import PDFs directly, but converts them to a bitmapped format, thus losing their vector-based scalability and introducing "jaggies". Does PowerPoint 2007 still have this limitation?

Hope this helps,

P.S. "MAC" is a TLA (three-letter acronym) for "media access control" -- your PC has a MAC address, as does my Mac (abbreviation for Macintosh).


----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Hanson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 10:13 PM
Subject: Re: st: Video from multiple graph exports


I have done something like this for several presentations -- although I typically prefer to use a remote to step through the "movie frames" rather than automate the transitions. That way I can stop and comment on certain slides (the audience sees it as "freezing" the animation), or go back to a specific slide to answer questions.

The caveat, given the details you have provided in your message: my process requires a Macintosh. Specifically, it requires use of Keynote, Apple's presentation software available only for Mac OS X.

Briefly, in three steps (though I am happy to provide details if requested): 1. Export the Stata graphs as PDF format. (A feature only available in the Mac version, I believe.)
2. Place PDFs of graphs into individual slides in Keynote.
3. Add automatic timed transitions and effects as needed. You can set transition times on a per-slide basis, as you inquired.

This whole process is very easy with Keynote, as it provides fine controls for aligning the graphs and professional transitions between slides. Plus, since everything is done with PDF, you don't get those "jaggies" (i.e. pixelation) that often afflict graphics in PowerPoint. Additionally, with Keynote you can export your presentation to QuickTime (.mov) or Flash (.swf) formats as a self- running, cross-platform file if desired.

I suspect one could use LaTeX-based presentation tools (beamer? powerdot? prosper?) to accomplish the same thing, albeit with (much) more effort.

Hope this helps,

On Dec 3, 2008, at 2:49 PM, Dan Weitzenfeld wrote:

Hi Folks,
I'm considering making a movie using multiple Stata graphs, exported.
E.g., for t=0,1,...n, graphing the data at each t, and then using a
slide-show program to stack the graphs in time order, creating a
"movie" illustrating how the data changes over time.
My questions:

1.  Has anyone does this before, and if so, do you have
recommendations for the most flexible slide-show program?
Specifically, I'm wondering if there is a program that will allow for
variable intervals between slides (e.g., t=0, 1.5, 2, 2.2,....)

2.  Is there a way to overlay a Stata graph on top of a .jpg file?
I've been doing this manually, using -spmap- to plot my
location-oriented data, exporting graphs as .emf/.wmf, ungrouping the
result in PowerPoint and aligning the .jpg overlay.

3.  Am I trying to use Stata to do something it's not suited for?  I
know JMP can play movies from data, but I don't think the movies can
be exported, and, well, I'm partial to Stata.

Thanks in advance,
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