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Re: st: Stata graphics speed

From   David Kantor <>
Subject   Re: st: Stata graphics speed
Date   Mon, 12 Jun 2006 08:27:03 -0400

I believe that Uli is correct, and that the graph commands also make heavy use of object-oriented techniques, which were added to Stata just for the purpose of rewriting -graph-.

I find that when I want to see a simple graph without having to wait, I use -gr7-, which is the older (Stata 7 and earlier) version of -graph-. Of course, this is a step backwards in technology, and lacks many features found in the current -graph- (and the syntax is different), but it is much faster that the current -graph-; the graph will appear nearly immediately. See -help gr7-, and a version 7 user manual if you can find one.

I usually use graphs for data exploration purposes, in which case I want to see them immediately; so I use -gr7-. If I want to draw a graph for a report, I would use -graph-.

I hope this helps.

At 06:35 AM 6/12/2006, you wrote:

I think it's because much of Stata graph-programs are written as Ado code. The
programs have to be loaded into memory when used the first time, i.e. Stata
have to look for the files. Graphs will take even longer if Stata is
installed on a slow network.

This is also just a guess.


Allan Reese (Cefas) wrote:
> Friedrich Huebler <> wrote 9 Jun 2006
> Subject: Re: st: Video card and Stata speed
> As an example, a fairly detailed map of the world drawn with -tmap-
> from SSC takes about one minute to render on my computer. ...
> Other Stata graphs like scatter plots or bar charts are *redrawn* [my
> emphasis] instantaneously and virtually nothing would be gained from a new
> video card.
> -----
> Something I've never understood is why graphs take a long time to appear in
> the first place. Commands like "gen y=_n" happen immediately, even with
> quite large numbers of observations. (I could just notice the delay with
> obs=1 millon). In contrast, a simple "scatter y x" with a few observations
> takes several seconds before anything appears. That sometimes applies even
> when what comes up is a syntax error. Can anyone explain? I've guessed
> that the delay is while Windows allocates memory for the graph window, but
> that is just a guess.
> Allan
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