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st: replace-all can crash do-file

From   Hewan Belay <>
To   Stata List <>
Subject   st: replace-all can crash do-file
Date   Fri, 14 May 2010 20:58:34 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Statalist,

I couldn't find any reference to this issue in the archives, though I am sure it must have already afflicted many. 

It appears that the find-and-replace option in the Stata 11 do-file handles "replace all" (e.g. when you do CTRL+H) in a way that can crash the do-file--and lead to exasperating loss of data if one hasn't saved the file in some while. It seems that when using "replace all", for example when replacing all "hh" with "hh_id", it never stops replacing, thus creating hh_id, then hh_id_id, etc., leading to a do-file freeze then crash. If not clear what I mean, give it a try! Even Notepad is more intelligent and only searches once through the document when using "replace all". 

I try to be careful about using "replace all" in stata (e.g. in the above example, replacing all "hh" with "house_id" would not cause a crash), but it's easy to forget that it won't stop looping, and face an unpleasant do-file crash. Is there any setting I can change to avoid this behaviour in do-files?


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