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Re: st: Spss vs Stata

From   Jeph Herrin <>
Subject   Re: st: Spss vs Stata
Date   Mon, 02 Aug 2010 11:12:10 -0400

I would like to second the primary point Walt makes. I consider myself
a dedicated and knowledgable Stata user, and I still find it annoyingly
complicated to produce the output my colleagues and clients expect. My
collaborators want a Word file with Word tables so they can mark it up
with comments and edits and send it back to me. To this end I have
even written a suite of do-files which write Stata output in RTF,
so that I can in effect write "Word" files, despite, like Walt, having
a personal preference for TeX. And I do a substantial amount of work
for US government agencies which want Powerpoint reports, period. To
say that Stata can produce nice output in LaTex misses the point of the
original post. I would gladly pay twice as much for a Stata license if
it could produce attractive output I could directly paste into MS


On 8/2/2010 10:53 AM, Data Analytics Corp. wrote:

I rarely comment to postings, but I have to say something here. I'm not
an SPSS user. The most I do with it is receive data in SPSS format from
my clients. I use a combination of R for its sheer programming power
(plus I came out of Bell Labs so I was raised on the S language) and
Stata for many routines that are just easier to use. I do many graphs in
Stata often having a dozen graph tabs opened at once plus logit
regressions -- all for my clients who pay the bills. These people
require results in PowerPoint, not Word or publication-oriented formats.
They want presentation-ready results, almost 100% in PowerPoint. Whether
we like it or not, the people who pay the bills want PowerPoint slides.

Now here's the problem with Stata and many of the comments made about
SPSS and Stata. The comments mentioned many times that there are ways to
get output into Latex for publication-quality output. I need it in
PowerPoint! And I'm sure there are many others like me (does any one
know the breakdown of Stata users between pure academics worried about
publications and consultants/business people?). How do I take a dozen
graphs and get them into PowerPoint without cutting and pasting each
one, one at a time (as a note, S-Plus has a PowerPoint wizard that is
amazing and R has a package called R2PPT that works fairly well)? How do
I get logit regression output into a PowerPoint slide without coping,
pasting, and laboriously reformatting so it looks "pretty"? This is
where users like me need help. We don't need LaTeX functions (by the
way, I'm also a heavy LaTeX user, preferring this over Word any day),
but rather functions to get things into PowerPoint. To me, the gist of
the thread on SPSS and Stata is how to get useful output to give to
anyone, and my vote is for functions that are PowerPoint oriented.

I welcome any suggestions on how to get output into PowerPoint easily,
quickly, and with minimum reformatting.




Walter R. Paczkowski, Ph.D.
Data Analytics Corp.
44 Hamilton Lane
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
(V) 609-936-8999
(F) 609-936-3733


On 8/2/2010 5:03 AM, SCHOUMAKER Bruno wrote:
I still have to use SPSS for my teaching - but I am working hard to
convince a sufficient number of colleagues to switch to Stata.
Incidentally, I started using Stata when doing my postdoc in Montreal :-)

SPSS is is also available in French, which is thought by some people
in French speaking places (like here) to be an advantage over SPSS.
However, the translation is sometimes so weird in the latest SPSS
versions that I personnally consider it to be an disadvantage.

I agree SPSS can produces nice tables, but with some user-written
packages and some investments in programming, I find Stata much more
powerful even for tables.


Bon apprentissage de Stata...


Le 2/08/2010 2:04, Yves Therriault a écrit :
Dear Stata users,

I've been using SPSS for 20 years. For the time being, I still use a
six years old version of SPSS (12.01). For many reasons, I told my
organisation that I would rather purchasing one licence of Stata
instead of upgrading to the newest release of SPSS (18.0).

A few months ago, I've asked former SPSS users to write about their
experience with Stata. Generally, people who have decided to switch
from SPSS to Stata aren't looking back.

In order to learn the basics of Stata more easily when the software is
installed on my computer, I bought 3 introductory books : A Gentle
Introduction to Stata ; An Introduction to Stata for Health
Researchers and, finally Data Analysis Using Stata.

I'm interested to hear from those who made the switch to Stata and
particularly about the lurning curve regarding the management of Stata
output. Generally, Stata seems to be far more superior to SPSS in many
ways. But, in my humble opinion, Stata is currently far behind SPSS
concerning how it displays its output. I'm aware that a lot of
routines have been written by Stata users to customize outputs though.

Just in case Stata programmers were monitoring this list, I would be
very pleased if the company decided to "improve" the output display in
a future release. Perhaps, another possible feature would gave the
user the choice between a "standard" Stata output and a Spss-like

Of course, I don't intent to start a controversy here. Maybe I'm just
an "old SPSS user" who is a little bit afraid to have to learn a new
syntax ! : - )

Finally, I just want tell you all how much I appreciate this list.
This is a very nice and vibrant community. I'm sure that I will learn
a lot from Stata experts as soon as I start using the software.

Kind regards,

Yves (Province de Québec)

P.S. Sorry for the bad English. I write in English just once in a while.

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