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Create Word documents: Starring putdocx

Suppose you have just fit several regression models. You want to create a table that presents different specifications and uses asterisks to "star" significant coefficients. Wouldn't it be nice if Stata had a command that let you do this easily?

It does. It has had one for a while. It is called estimates table.

Now suppose you are writing a Word document and you want to put that same table of regression results in it. Ah, well, until now, you couldn't.

The new putdocx command lets you do just that though. Better still, you do not have to learn a lot of complicated programming to do it.

A quick illustration

In this toy example, let's use the auto dataset—that perennial favorite of the Stata manuals.

. webuse auto

We'll start by fitting two regression models. The first model specifies price only as a function of the mileage (mpg) of the car. The second adds an indicator for whether the car was imported from outside the U.S. (foreign). We don't care much about the default regress output, so we'll fit these models quietly.

. quietly regress price mpg
. estimates store model1

. quietly regress price mpg i.foreign
. estimates store model2

Notice that after we fit each model above, we stored the estimation results. We did this so that we could tell estimates table what to display.

. estimates table model1 model2

Variable model1 model2
mpg -238.89435 -294.19553
Foreign 1767.2922
_cons 11253.061 11905.415

So that's our basic estimates table. Let's customize it to show the contents we want with the format we want. We can format the point estimates of the coefficients to have three decimal places by specifying the b() option. And we can add significance stars at the 95, 99, and 99.9 percent confidence levels with the star option.

. estimates table model1 model2, b(%10.3f) star

Variable model1 model2
mpg -238.894*** -294.196***
Foreign 1767.292*
_cons 11253.061*** 11905.415***
legend: * p<0.05; ** p<0.01; *** p<0.001

We could stop right here and write our results out. But this probably isn't a table that is good enough for publication just yet. Let's add a few statistics and put in the variable labels rather than names.

. estimates table model1 model2, b(%10.3f) star stats(N r2 r2_a) 
    varlabel allbaselevels 

Variable model1 model2
Mileage (mpg) -238.894*** -294.196***
Car type
Domestic (base)
Foreign 1767.292*
Constant 11253.061*** 11905.415***
N 74 74
r2 0.220 0.284
r2_a 0.209 0.264
legend: * p<0.05; ** p<0.01; *** p<0.001

We feel pretty good about this table. All the content we want to display is there.

So let's write this to our Word document. We need only three steps: create a document in memory, write out our table, and save the document. We have to specify a table name (tbl1) and a name for our document (mydoc).

. putdocx begin
. putdocx table tbl1 = etable
. putdocx save mydoc

These three commands re-create the table of estimates in Word. Note that if mydoc.docx had existed already, we would have had to specify either the replace or the append option.

screenshot of original table

Customizing the table in Word

If we are creating a table for one-time use in a publication and not worried about replicating results later, we might hand-edit the results in Word to get a fully polished, publication-ready table. But if we want a reproducible table or if we plan to run similar models again with different data, we are better served by editing our table in Stata and saving the commands in a do-file.

Our goal is to create a table that looks like this:

screenshot of final table

To do this, we start from the same place above: open a document in memory, and write our estimates table results to a table.

. putdocx begin
. putdocx table tbl2 = etable

tbl2 is just the name we will use to refer to the results while we work with them.

Now we can start modifying our table.

We delete the blank line between "Mileage (mpg)" and "Car type" by removing the third row of the table.

. putdocx table tbl2(3,.), drop

We format the leftmost column to be left aligned and format the header row to be bold.

. putdocx table tbl2(.,1), halign(left)
. putdocx table tbl2(1,.), bold

Finally, we give labels to the r2 and r2_a statistics and then add the formatted table to our existing document.

. putdocx table tbl2(8,1) = ("R-squared")
. putdocx table tbl2(9,1) = ("Adj. R-squared")
. putdocx save mydoc, append

If we want to devote some extra time to programming, we could create even more complicated tables. See [P] putdocx and [P] putpdf for other ways to create tables with these commands.

While we have concentrated on tables of regression results, you can also use putdocx (for Word documents) and putpdf (for PDF files) to automate the production of entire reports. Directly from within Stata, you can create documents containing paragraphs, tables, embedded Stata output, and Stata graphs and other graphics, with full control over formatting such as font size, typeface, and the like.

— Rebecca Raciborski
Senior Health Econometrician

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