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Re: st: infile and dictionaries and the small data mindset

From   "Friedrich Huebler" <>
Subject   Re: st: infile and dictionaries and the small data mindset
Date   Wed, 14 May 2008 10:26:40 -0400


Perhaps you can do this with -insheet-, as described in this thread:


On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 9:23 AM, E. Paul Wileyto <> wrote:
> One of our worst fears is that someone will come to us with data scattered
> all over a spreadsheet file in little summary tables.  If they have lots of
> those files, I can usually find a way to script the import efficiently using
> What if you have those same tables in a text file?  Is there any efficient
> way to import and parse data in such a format?  I have the far end of this
> process scripted so the researcher can generate his own summary statistics,
> but getting the data into Stata involves a program making an excel file,
> followed by cutting and pasting into Stata.  I'd like to cut out some of the
> import steps, so that all we would need to do is give a list of filenames to
> a Stata script, and watch the screen roll by as the data get extracted.
> The files are generated by a program that is monitoring mouse behavior.
>  Each file may contain behavior from one mouse on one day, or several mice
> on one day.  The general format is always the same.  For each mouse-run,
> there is a small block of ancillary information as a header.  I cannot
> guarantee that all of these blocks have the same number of words, but some
> of that info will be needed as data.  These are followed by blocks of
> numbers in columns.  Each block has an alphanumeric header before it (on its
> own line), and there are row numbers.
> I would have a fairly good idea how to script this in Matlab, but I don't
> want to be the one doing the import on a daily basis, and it's hard for the
> researcher to justify buying into some pricey software just to script that
> one task.
> Any clues about scripting this type of import in Stata would be appreciated.
> Thanks
> Paul
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