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Re: st: RE: RE: Displaying values less than one with a zero in front of the comma

From   Chris Ruebeck <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: RE: Displaying values less than one with a zero in front of the comma
Date   Mon, 21 Feb 2005 17:04:22 -0500

I second two of Nick's ideas. (1) Always use the leading zero, although having the option to decide whether or not it's included in all formats is fine. (2) More flexibility in applying different formats to different parts of the display. I'm frustrated, in particular, when I want to use a fixed format but different variables' coefficients in my regression either have a different number of significant digits or (since the concept of significant digits is questionable in economics) different magnitudes of the least significant digit. Example 1: I'd rather see 0.023 and 0.0032 instead of either 0.0231 and 0.0032 or 2.3E-2 and 3.2E-3. Example 2: I'd rather see 2.3 and 0.32 than either 2.31 and 0.32 or 2.3 and 3.2E-1. ["and" takes precedence over "or" in parsing these examples.]


On Feb 21, 2005, at 4:34 PM, Nick Cox wrote:

The issue as I see it is not whether people want this. FWIW, I prefer leading zeros myself in this interval.

The issue is that many, many Stata programs choose particular formats for output. I am not clear how any global setting could be very effective given that fact. In other words, local freedom for programmers, StataCorp or not, to set up formats as they wish controlling their output is somewhat at odds with the idea of a universal instruction.

That doesn't rule out trying to give users some flexibility, as exemplified by many programmers' work, including Ben's.

Elsewhere I have tried pushing the idea that an array of values may require an array (not necessarily of the same dimensions) of formats. This is standard in some languages, but not well supported in Stata.

Jann, Ben said

There has been some discussion about displaying the 0 in front
of the decimal point for numbers in (-1,1).

Seb Buechte asked:
is there anyway to force stata to generally display 0.5 instead of .5 ?
Thomas J. Steichen answered:
My experience is that g formats do not put the leading zero f formats put the leading zero
Thomas is right, of course. However, I think that it would be great to be able to choose whether to print the leading zero or not in general (i.e. to be able to print the zero or not in both the g and the f format).

For example, -estout- provides the -nolz- option ("no leading zero") to get rid of the leading zeros in the f format. I think it would be great if such functionality be provided via -%fmt-.
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