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st: RE: A couple of file command questions for writing a .tex program

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: A couple of file command questions for writing a .tex program
Date   Thu, 16 Apr 2009 20:26:37 +0100

The meta-reply is to rummage in [U] as these matters are explained
carefully and fully there. The kind of programming you are doing is
fiddly and you need a decent source by your hand and preferably
transferred to your brain. 

In essence, you need compound double quotes `" "' (hereafter c.d.q.)
whenever you are nesting double quotes " " as the latter are ambiguous.
But c.d.q. do no harm if they are not needed. 

An example of the problem is "a"b"c". Is this 


followed by 


followed by 


Or is it 


nested within a string that starts "a and ends c". You may know what you
mean but Stata hasn't a chance because a beginning " and an ending " are
of course exactly the same symbol. However c.d.q. are clearly different
as `" and "' are distinguishable by programmer and machine alike. Each
c.d.q. is logically a single symbol although typed as two (same story as
>=, <=, !=, etc.). 

In essence too: if you mean $ to indicate anything other than a global
macro symbol you must escape it with \. That's not an absolute as Stata
manages to be a bit smart about e.g. $10 which is what this email would
cost you at a decent consultancy rate. 


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Thomas Jacobs
Sent: 16 April 2009 20:14
To: StataList
Subject: st: A couple of file command questions for writing a .tex

Fellow listers,

I am trying to learn to write Latex files from Stata/Mata with the
file commands and have a couple of questions:

1.  What is the difference between using simple quotes " xxx "
compared with `" xxx "' type quotes?  The user manual displays simple
quotes for write commands

file write handle "first part is"

while in the Gini/Pasquini' Automatic Generation of Document article
from Stata Journal vol 6 number 1, the typical example
uses a format like,

file write handle  `"first part is"'

I would like to know how they are treated differently, if at all.

2.  A more complicated question.  How does one use a $ sign in a file
write command and not have Stata treat it as a global macro?  For
instance, the end of the following command:

file write tex "\begin{tabular}{lrrrrrrrrrrr}\hline\\ \scriptsize
Model & `: word 1 of `:colname e(b)'' & p-val & "
file write tex "`: word 2 of `:colname e(b)'' & p-val & `: word 3 of
`:colname e(b)'' & p-val & `: word 4 of `:colname e(b)'' & "
file write tex "p-val & `: word 5 of `:colname e(b)'' & p-val & adj.
$R^2$ \\" _n
file write tex "\vspace{0.05in}" _n


\begin{tabular}{lrrrrrrrrrrr}\hline\\ \scriptsize Model & FFMkt &
p-val & SMB & p-val & HML & p-val & UMD & p-val & _cons & p-val & adj.
^2$ \\

and I end up with ^2$ as opposed to the $R^2$ term I need for a Latex
math string.  I also tried


without any change in results.  Any suggestions would be much

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