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Re: st: retaining numeric formatting when using -outsheet-

From   Klaus Pforr <>
Subject   Re: st: retaining numeric formatting when using -outsheet-
Date   Thu, 23 Dec 2010 16:54:50 +0100


Dear David,

this seems to be a problem of your decimal point separation choice. One way is to set the decimal point to comma in stata.
set dp comma
With this you change the thousands separator to point, which should be accepted by excel without any problems. The other possibility is to change the respective setting in excel (extras->options->international). Here you change the decimal point to point and the thousands separator to comma. Don't do both, otherwise you end up with the same problem, just with 21.27649503232 instead of 21,27649503232.

best, Klaus

Am 23.12.2010 16:43, schrieb Sergiy Radyakin:
Dear David,

1) if you plan using CSV format, perhaps it is not a good idea to
format numbers with
commas like so: 213,393,129,472 since Excel will read this as 4
different values in
one row. Since you report that Excel shows this as one number, I
conclude that the
file outputted from Stata does not contain the comma separators
between the triplets.

2) If the file contains commas between triplets but the values are
separated with TABs,
Excel (2007) reads the numbers correctly, recognizes the triplets
separator / number
format etc. So it seems you need to pursuade Stata to output
everything in correct
format (preserve triplets separator in the outsheet output, which it discards).

3) unless there is something undocumented about outsheet, there
appears to be two
A) write your own outsheet, which supports this feature;
B) post-process outsheet's output, either before or after importing to Excel.

Best, Sergiy Radyakin

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 10:32 AM, Beede, David N<>  wrote:
Thank you, Neil.  I did as you suggested, and the numbers are not in the desired format:
So I don't know if this means I am doing something wrong in Stata.  I agree I could format in Excel, but I am trying (perhaps too hard!) to automate the process as much as possible.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Neil Shephard
Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:25 AM
Subject: Re: st: retaining numeric formatting when using -outsheet-

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 3:16 PM, Beede, David N<>  wrote:
Hi -

I know this topic has come up before, and the answer was to set the display format within Stata.  But even so, I am having problems with it.  I have done a lot of due diligence to try to find the answer but can't (I also tried using StatTransfer and -xmlsave- without success).  I want to avoid as much format-fussing in Excel as I can, but if I have to I guess I will. But if anyone has a quick fix, I would be grateful to know it.  Thanks.

Here is a snippet of code:
                recast double v*
                format v* %20.0fc
                format *
                l v1 v2
                outsheet v1 v2 using test.csv, replace comma

Here is an excerpt from the Stata log corresponding to the snippet:
variable name  display format
  v1             %20.0fc
  v2             %20.0fc

     | v1                v2 |
  1. | 21    27,649,503,232 |
  2. |  0                 0 |
  3. | 48   213,393,129,472 |
  4. | 18   185,502,416,896 |
And here is what the Excel file looks like after using -outsheet-
v1      v2
21      27649503232
0       0
48      2.13393E+11
18      1.85502E+11
This sounds more like an Excel issue.

To investigate open the CSV in a text-editor (NOT Excel or Word) and
look at the format of your strings.

My guess is that they will look as desired, which means its Excel that
is choosing to display "213,393,129,472" as "2.13393E+11" and so
forth.  I don't have a version of Excel with which to check this
(since I exclusively run Linux) but there are ways of formatting
columns in Excel (something like right-clicking the column and
selecting "Format cells" or similar) that should allow you to set the
display format as desired before then saving it as an Excel file (i.e.
with extensions .xls so that formatting will be retained).


"Our civilization would be pitifully immature without the intellectual
revolution led by Darwin" - Motoo Kimura, The Neutral Theory of
Molecular Evolution

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Klaus Pforr
Universität Mannheim
D - 68131 Mannheim
Tel:  +49-621-181 2801 (nachmittags)
fax:  +49-621-181 2803

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