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st: Comment on date formats: Re: statalist-digest V4 #3271

From   "Allan Reese (Cefas)" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Comment on date formats: Re: statalist-digest V4 #3271
Date   Thu, 11 Dec 2008 11:01:55 -0000

Moving dates between programs is always problematical.  Both the
software and each user have to act on assumptions.  IMO the only safe
method is to split the date into day, month and year fields.  For data
entry I recommend using month names, then there's no confusion that 9/11
might have happened in November.  I've just written such code using a
pull-down list of month names, converting to the month number by the
equivalent of

gen nmonth = (strpos("JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec", month)+2)/3

Has anyone seen problems of dates confused between AD and AH or other

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 08:27:19 -0500
From: Jeph Herrin <>
Subject: Re: st: Date format export to excel

Excel is reading the mon/year as mon/day and then adding
the current year.

So Nov 08 -> 11/08 -> 11/08/2008
    Sep 01 ->  9/01 ->  9/01/2008

Which explains what you are seeing, but not how to fix it.

I have often run into similar problems with Excel, and how
it handles dates differs not only with version of Excel but
also how some of the defaults are set - dates that look fine
when I open them in Excel are completely wrong when someone
else opens the same file in Excel.

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