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Re: st: Confusion regarding compatibility of Stata 11 & Stata 12 datasets

From   Svend Juul <>
To   "" <>
Subject   Re: st: Confusion regarding compatibility of Stata 11 & Stata 12 datasets
Date   Sun, 2 Oct 2011 22:16:22 +0200

Dave wrote:

In Stata 12, the documentation for 'help save' states:
    save [...]

    saveold saves the dataset currently in memory on disk under the name
    filename in Stata 9/Stata 10 format.  Stata 11 has the same dataset
    format as Stata 10, but Stata 11 is smart enough to read Stata 12

    If you are using Stata 12 and want to save a file so that it may be
    read by someone using Stata 9 or Stata 10, simply use the saveold

The above is a little confusing, especially since I have observed
evidence against "Stata 11 is smart enough to read Stata 12 datasets".
Prior to receiving Stata 12, we found our up-to-date installation of
Stata 11 was unable to read the datasets of Stata-12-using colleagues.

That suggests that Stata 12 uses a different dataset format to Stata 11.

Is it therefore possible for Stata 12 to save in Stata 11 format?  I
suppose this may not be necessary if 'saveold' can be used to save in
Stata 9/10 format, unless there are compatibility issues.

Can someone clarify the position regarding the various dataset formats,
or point me to some documentation, please?


You are not alone in feeling confused; the above could give the impression
that Stata 9 and 10 share format, which is not the case. With an update
September 2011, Stata 11 is able to -use- a Stata 12 dataset, but this
does not work for Stata 10. With the various versions, the -save- and
-saveold- commands do this:

Your version   -save- generates data    -saveold- generates
  of Stata       with the format of    data with the format of
     12              Stata 12                 Stata 8/9
  10 or 11           Stata 10/11              Stata 8/9
   8 or 9            Stata 8/9                Stata 7

Hope this helps

Svend Juul
+45 2634 7796<>

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