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st: -insheet- doesn't respect quotes


From   "Joseph Coveney" <jcoveney@bigplanet.com>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: -insheet- doesn't respect quotes
Date   Sat, 21 Aug 2010 00:18:47 +0900

Is there any way to get -insheet- to respect quoted numbers that have leading 
zeroes?  See the example below for illustration of the problem.  

-insheet- insists upon importing these strings as numeric.  They really should
be kept as strings, because they are identifiers and are not intended to be 
used in calculations.  I can re-generate the strings from the integers using 
-tostring . . ., format(%0X.0f)-, but every extra workaround is one more 
opportunity for errors to arise during data management.

Joseph Coveney

. set obs 2
obs was 0, now 2

. generate str patient_nr = "002"

. tempfile tmpfil0

. outsheet using `tmpfil0', names quote

. type `tmpfil0'
patient_nr
"002"
"002"

. insheet using `tmpfil0', names clear
(1 var, 2 obs)

. describe

Contains data
  obs:             2                          
 vars:             1                          
 size:            10 (99.9% of memory free)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------
              storage  display     value
variable name   type   format      label      variable label
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------
patient_nr      byte   %8.0g                  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------
Sorted by:  
     Note:  dataset has changed since last saved

. list

     +----------+
     | patien~r |
     |----------|
  1. |        2 |
  2. |        2 |
     +----------+



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