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Re: st: How to label the value 999999999999

From   Nick Winter <>
Subject   Re: st: How to label the value 999999999999
Date   Wed, 08 Oct 2008 11:39:56 -0400

Trial and error suggests that -label- will handle integers from -2,147,483,647 through 2,147,483,621, plus the extended missings from .a through .z, and NOT 'regular' missing (.):

. la de mylab 2147483621 "really big"

. la de mylab 2147483622 "really big + 1", add
may not label 2147483622

. la de mylab -2147483647 "really negative", add

. la de mylab -2147483648 "really negative - 1", add
may not label -2147483648

. la de mylab . "missing", add
may not label .

. la de mylab .a "missing a", add

. la de mylab .z "missing z", add

Oddly, the upper bound is one larger than the maximum for a -long- in Stata (according to -help data types-); the lower bound is the mimimum for a -long-.

Nick Winter

Caleb Southworth wrote:
Nick, thanks for this. The main issue is still unclear: is there a limit on the size of number that can be labeled? My suggestion of mvencode and the other similar recodes are the way to go.
On Wed, 8 Oct 2008, Nick Cox wrote:

:No; this is backward. It's the argument that is problematic, not the
:result. :
:The possible length of the value label, i.e. a string, is not biting
:here. It is the fact that you are dealing with a large integer, on which
:more is said elsewhere. :
:The refusal of -tostring- to produce a string variable in your example
:is easy to explain. -tostring- is a wrapper for -string(<real argument>,
:"<format>")- with several safety checks and constraints. The format
:defaults to %12.0g. Some experiments show that you need a different
:format for the conversion of 9...9 (12 digits) to be reversible. :
:. di string(999999999999, "%12.0g")
:. di string(999999999999, "%13.0g")
:. di string(999999999999, "%14.0g")
:So, -tostring- will work as desired here so long as a suitable
:-format()- is specified. *
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