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st: RE: Re: Re: printing resized graphs

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: Re: Re: printing resized graphs
Date   Thu, 4 Dec 2003 17:20:47 -0000

Laszlo and many others outside the USA may be more accustomed to
thinking in mm or cm. In Britain at least most Stata users will
think about equally easily in terms of inches or cm/mm, depending
on context and age.

The precise definition of an inch [literally] is now 2.54 cm or
25.4 mm.

Therefore, suppose that you are thinking of a graph with ysize 12
cm and xsize 20 cm.

You can get Stata to do the calculation all in one line

..., xsize(`=20/2.54') ysize(`=12/2.54')

What is going on here?

`=   that is left quote followed by =

means "evaluate what follows between here and the matching right
quote".  So Stata evaluates (e.g.) 20/2.54 and uses the result.

This was introduced in Stata 7 but not documented. It is
documented in Stata 8, e.g. at help for -macro-. The generic
syntax is


where "exp" stands for expression.

In short, you do not even need need to use a calculator or
-display- (or mental calculation) beforehand. It is as if Stata
understood the metric system.


P.S. the on-line stuff for -graph- used to contain a jocular
reference to furlong as a unit of length, but it seems to have
disappeared. Many of us have personal experience of ploughing
[plowing] one furrow long, so I regret this omission of a natural

dr kardos lászló

> it is really much better to give the size you desire in
> inches (just wonder how many naughty thoughts this has provoked)
than fiddling
> with %-wise
> magnifications. jesper's idea of a possibility to set
> defaults for this
> would come very useful for some of us users, though
> admittedly it is not too
> much of a hassle to stick in the option for graphs that go
> beyond their usual on-screen habitat.

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