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Re: st: Decoding expansion fields in dta files

From   Brian Quistorff <>
To   statalist <>
Subject   Re: st: Decoding expansion fields in dta files
Date   Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:53:03 -0400

Thanks. I guess I was more looking for how type-1 expansion fields
(generic characteristics) are interpreted as multilingual labels and
notes (which I forgot to mention before). With some more investigating
I'll note what I've found for anyone else out there parsing these
files. I'll express what I found in the format of characteristics.

Multilingual labels:
-_dta[_lang_c] = <curr_language>
-(Non-current dataset/variable labels) evarname[_lang_v_<lang>] = <label string>
-(Non-current value label attachments): varname[_lang_l_<lang>]=<value label>
-_dta[_lang_list] = <lang1> <lang2> ...

-evarname[note0] = <number of notes for evarname>
-evarname[noteX] = <note number #>

If anyone sees something I've missed, let me know. Thanks.


On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM, Nick Cox <> wrote:
> The most complete documentation I know is within [P] See also
> Nick
> On 22 April 2013 16:51, Brian Quistorff <> wrote:
>> I would like to be able to extract my characteristics (-char-) and
>> non-"current" multilingual labels (-label language-) from my saved
>> .dta files. The -help dta- says that the characteristics are stored in
>> the expansion fields of the file. Looking at the raw files it appears
>> that the other multilingual labels are stored in those fields as well.
>> How does one decode these fields? I can't find anything in
>> manuals/online. I'm using Stata/SE 12.1 for Windows (64-bit x86-64).
>> The files are saved in format 115, but if there are changes in how
>> these attributes are stored for earlier formats, help on those would
>> also be appreciated.
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