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st: RE: Individual IDs with non-numeric characters

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: Individual IDs with non-numeric characters
Date   Tue, 3 Feb 2009 19:58:32 -0000

Let's be clear that this is misleading as a description of what
-destring- does. 

It does not "delete" individuals, i.e. -drop- them in Stata terms. 
It merely sets string values to missing when it can't make sense of them
as having numeric meaning. 

The name -force- is designed to make it absolutely clear that you are
doing damage to the data and should know that. 

Of course, Benson is flagging here that this does not solve his problem,
which has been solved by other posts in this thread. I just wanted to
ensure that no-one picked up a bad impression of -destring-. 


Benson Limann
The individual IDs in my dataset are in the string format. I currently
use -destring- to make them numeric. But, unfortunately, some individual
IDs have non-numeric characters. As a result, -destring- with the
-force- option deletes all these individuals automatically. 
Given that I want to sort all the observations, is it possible to keep
these individuals with non-numeric IDs?

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