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st: How to get a list of the names of characters associated with a variable


From   "Clyde Schechter" <clyde.schechter@einstein.yu.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: How to get a list of the names of characters associated with a variable
Date   Thu, 4 Mar 2010 12:19:42 -0800

I'm trying to write an ado file that will generalize the -lookfor- command
so that it also searches for the target text in characters associated with
variables.  (I need this because I have a data set with a large number of
variables, and the key information is often found not in the label [which
was truncated at 80 characters], but in a character--and the characters
are not consistently named.)

So my basic idea is:

foreach v of varlist _all {
     get a list of all characters associated with `v' in a local char_list
     foreach c of local char_list {
          if index("`:char `v'[`c']'", "`target_string'") > 0 {
               found it -- generate suitable output
          }
     }
}

But I haven't found a way to get a list of all characters associated with
`v'.  I can display them all with - char list `v'[] -, but that doesn't
return anything.

Anyone have any ideas about this, or an alternative way for me to
generalize -lookfor-?  Thanks in advance for any help.

Clyde Schechter, MA MD
Associate Professor of Family & Social Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA

Please note new e-mail address: clyde.schechter@einstein.yu.edu

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