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st: Changing variable name to variable label

From   Daniel Jones <>
Subject   st: Changing variable name to variable label
Date   Mon, 12 Apr 2010 16:18:05 -0400

I have a set of repeated cross sections (10 years) which I would like to combine into a single dataset. The problem is that the variable names are different across years -- it's a survey, so a variable I need might be called "Q13" one year and "Q17" the next. 

Variable labels seem to be constant across years, so I thought a solution might be to rename the the variables on the basis of their labels. I found a previous Statalist posting which describes such a procedure. However, for this to work, variable labels need to already be appropriately formatted to be variable names -- i.e., no spaces, etc. My variable labels are of the form "Education Volunteer - Past 12 Months." I'm assuming there's a way to remove spaces, etc. from variable labels, and then make them the variable names -- but I don't know what it is.

Alternatively, it seems like there could be a simpler solution to merging all of these years together. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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