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Re: st: Importing subset of a pipe delimited textfile

From   Rob Shaw <>
Subject   Re: st: Importing subset of a pipe delimited textfile
Date   Wed, 17 Oct 2012 13:10:51 +0100


The problem is not the pipes as such (otherwise I could just use the
delimiter options in -insheet-), it's that the file is too large to
use -insheet-

So i need to use -infile- to import my file in separate parts, but
infile will only accept fixed format files (as far as I understand).
Therefore, if I import my file using:

infile str2 var1 _skip(1) str4 var2 _skip(1) str3 var3 _skip(1) str4
var4  using myfile in 1/1000000

I get nonesense because the first record then gets filled with [1|,
BCD|, 3|X, YZ]


Maarten wrote:

To give a concrete example: I stored Rob's example dataset in foo.raw

I than typed in Stata:

filefilter foo.raw foo2.raw, from("|") to(\t) replace

insheet using foo2.raw

The first line replaced all pipes in the file foo.raw with a tab and
stored the resulting tab-delimited file in foo2.raw, and the second
line read this tab-delimited file foo2.raw into Stata.

Hope this helps,

On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM, Nick Cox <> wrote:
> Why is varying length of line a problem? So long as the same variables
> are represented on each line, I can see no problem.
> Also, -filefilter- has a tacit loop; you don't need to set it up for yourself.
> Nick
> On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM, Rob Shaw <> wrote:
>> Nick
>> Thanks. Yes that would work but the problem is the varying length of
>> each line. So I need to get filefilter or another command to do one
>> of:
>> x=0
>> counter=1
>> with "myfile.txt" {
>>  y = position of 10000th EOL in `i'
>>  save `i' from position x to y in "myfilepos"+counter+".txt"
>>  x =y
>> }
>> This would create files called myfilepos1, myfilepos2 etc each with
>> 10000 lines that I could then -insheet- with a delimiter(|) option.
>> But I don't know how to correctly specify the bit in the loop.
>> OR
>> for each line in "myfile.txt" {
>>  find | and replace with a number of spaces depending on position in row
>> }
>> This would make each line the same length so I could use -infile-
>> Is there a way to use -filefilter- to achieve this?
>> File sample:
>> 1|ABCD|23|XYZ
>> 10|BCED|1|YZX
>> 30|DCHS|234|YBH
>> ....
>> Thanks
>> Rob
>>>I'd use -filefilter- to change the pipes to something that -infile- can handle.
>>>(Strictly, -in- is a qualifier, not an option.)
>>>On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM, Rob Shaw <> wrote:
>>> I have a very large (around 4Gb) text file that has been pipe
>>> delimited. It won't all fit in memory so I want to process it in
>>> parts.
>>> For fixed datasets I would use infile with the in 1/10000000 option
>>> then 10000001/2000000 etc. However, this dataset has been pipe
>>> delimited so I would need to use insheet, but insheet doesn't seem to
>>> permit the "in" option.
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Maarten L. Buis
Reichpietschufer 50
10785 Berlin
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