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st: re: Seeing Double - issues with quotation marks

From   Christopher Baum <>
Subject   st: re: Seeing Double - issues with quotation marks
Date   Fri, 26 Feb 2010 17:14:38 -0500

Ben said

I made the error of cutting and pasting text from Microsoft into the
Do-file Editor of Stata MP 9.2 (Stata 11 should arrive any day now).
Now, whenever I type a double quotation mark, the symbol is no longer
the apl double quotation mark (HTML coding entity &quot;). Instead, it
is a common quotation mark (&rdquo). For examples, see

The common quotation version is not recognized by Stata, and you get the
ironic error:

'"A"' found where almost anything else expected

Two simple fixes are to restart stata (which reverts to the APL) or copy
an old apl quotation mark and pasted when you need a quotation. I found
that if I simply open another editor, the new editor still uses the
common quotation marks (&rdquo).

Has anyone else had this problem and might Stata fix it in the next

I don't think it's Stata's job to "fix this". As often mentioned on this list, a TEXT EDITOR should be used to develop do-files outside of the do-file editor: not Microsoft Word! This problem occurs in many contexts -- if you copy and paste from Word to a text file, you get curly quotes (as you note), curly apostrophes, em-dashes that are not recognized as dashes, etc. which will, e.g., show up as problems in HTML. The way to avoid these problems is to stay away from Word if you're interested in writing or editing a text file. It is cumbersome to use Word in that context anyway, as its native format is binary, not ASCII text.

See SSC item 'texteditors' for guidance.

Kit Baum   |   Boston College Economics and DIW Berlin   |
An Introduction to Stata Programming   |
An Introduction to Modern Econometrics Using Stata   |

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