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Re: st: RE: truncate variable names

From   SCHOUMAKER Bruno <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: truncate variable names
Date   Tue, 27 Jul 2010 08:32:53 +0200

Nick, I agree I could do that in principle. But the thing is that my syntax is used to generate a large number of excel files containing cross-tabulation of variables; the names of the files are the names of the variables; and I use a word file with links to these files. So I would need to change the links to the excel files in the word file if the variable names (and file names) were changed...

So your solution helps me a lot :-)


Le 26/07/2010 16:58, Nick Cox a écrit :
You can do exactly that if all the abbreviations to the first 8 letters are distinct. As said, you'd need to check that any way.



Thanks a lot !

I agree it may seem a bad idea; Actually, I had a program running with
variables names truncated to 8 characters (exported from SPSS using an
old stat/transfer version) -  I received a new data set (same data, but
with additional observations), exported from SPSS with a new version of
stat/transfer, but with variables names longer than 8. And it would save
me a lot of time if I could just re run the syntax with exactly the same
variable names...

Le 26/07/2010 16:43, Nick Cox a écrit :

renvars, trim(8)

where -renvars- is downloadable from the SJ files. -search renvars- for
precise location.

Note that the first principles solution

foreach v of var * {
	local new = substr("`v'", 1, 8)
	rename `v' `new'

is more instructive about principles but will fail part-way through if
two or more variable names have the same first 8 characters. -renvars-
warns you of that problem in advance, so that you can rethink strategy.

By the way, this strikes me as mostly a bad idea unless you are
exporting to some other software that requires it.

I would like to truncate the variable names of my dataset to 8

Does anybody know how I can do that in Stata ?
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