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st: read text file with multiple spaces

From   Mike Lacy <>
Subject   st: read text file with multiple spaces
Date   Fri, 19 Aug 2005 07:44:32 -0600

At 12:33 AM 8/19/2005, you wrote:
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 19:35:32 -0700 (PDT)
From: Yu Zhang <>
Subject: st: read text file with multiple spaces

It's a shame to ask, but does anyone know how to read
data (text file) with multiple spaces between
..... (can't use multiple spaces as a delimiter)

Rant mode on: This feature of Stata also cropped up in SPSS several years ago, and is quite unfortunate. It overthrows a very longstanding convention of free format input, perhaps 40 years old, which was to treat multiple occurrences of a space the same as a single space. This contributed considerably to the robustness of free format input, and in fact IIRC was even enshrined as an element of good programming style. I believe, but don't know, that the decision to break this convention was made for all of us by Micro$oft when it implemented its import features in Excel in such a way, and then of course everyone had to follow along.
Rant mode off.


Mike Lacy
Fort Collins CO USA
(970) 491-6721 office

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