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st: RE: Some Basic STATA Questions

From   "Martin Weiss" <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   st: RE: Some Basic STATA Questions
Date   Fri, 3 Oct 2008 22:22:10 +0200

Welcome and good to see you in the community! On the first question, you can
open as many instances of Stata as your computer allows; or you can -append-
or -merge- datasets. On the second, every time you open an instance of
Stata, "a new dataset" is already there. -generate- as many variables as you
like, -format- them and -save- them in .dta format. If you want to get file
transfers, both in and out of Stata, right fast, I would recommend investing
in Stat/Transfer which is great in combination with the -ssc describe stcmd-
BTW, the red columns are string variables. Stata is not particularly fond of
those, so most of the time you want to -decode- or -destring- them. After
-destring-, they will be highlighted in blue in the Data Editor and Data
Browser. Note that not all strings should be treated this way, though. If
you have a dataset whose 250 rows are populated by the countries of the
earth, you probably should leave the "country" variable as string...


-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Prashant Shukla
Sent: Friday, October 03, 2008 10:12 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: st: Some Basic STATA Questions

My first Hello to the STATA community! I am really, really new to STATA
and I am going to be using it to perform various kinds of data
manipulation. Also, I have been a user of SAS in recent times so these
questions mention SAS every now and then. In general, I found STATA to
be quite user friendly with all the commands. I have been reading the
manuals and a lot of online help sites so that's been good. However,
here are a few questions I had: 

1. STATA only opens one data set at a time, while SAS can open as many
as you want in one window. How do you get around that problem? I ask
because I will have to use multiple datasets at one time for sure. This
is a concern and I am sure expert STATA users get around this "problem."
2. How do you create a blank dataset in STATA? In SAS, we have the data
step where one can keep variables we want, format them, etc and then set
them equal to whatever we want from some other data set. Mapping and
creating new data sets is a bulk of what I do, hence this question. 3.
What is the best way to import files into STATA. I am using the
"insheet" command but I get a many "red" columns, all the time. 4. How
do you format fixed width excel or TXT files in STATA? And, export them
properly? In particular, format the fields to be a certain width, keep
the leading zeros etc. 

Thanks so much. I really, really appreciate it, looking forward to all
your answers.


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