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st: formatted output

From   Jeph Herrin <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   st: formatted output
Date   Mon, 11 Jan 2010 13:45:28 -0500

I am trying to use Stata to generate reports, each of which
contains tables and graphs relevant to one of many units
(here, hospitals).

In the past I have done this one of two ways. One is
to use Stata to create a CSV table of results, and
then a word processing program (eg Word) to "merge"
each row of the table into a template to create the reports.
This makes nice reports, but runs into trouble if some
units have exceptions, and requires then converting all
the (eg) Word files to PDF etc etc.

So when suitable I use -file- to write text, including SMCL
tags, to a text file, and then -translate- to filter the
.smcl files into postscript files. This works fairly well
if there are only tables/text (no graphs), and if Courier
is acceptable. What I would like to do is

1) Embed some graph format in smcl so that it is converted or
streamed into the postscript file (or linked into the postscript
so it is embedded in a final PDF file)?

2) Tag the SMCL in such a way that -smcl2ps- uses other, proportional
fonts for tagged text?

Anyone have any experience or insight into how to solve either
problem? I think I have to solve both or else use the MS Word
method for this project.

I'll just add that this remains one of Stata's larger shortcomings
relative to other statistical packages, I work with analysts who
use **S for everything they do only because it gives pretty output
when they need it.

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