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Re: st: RE: Changing variable name to variable label

From   Michael Norman Mitchell <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: Changing variable name to variable label
Date   Mon, 12 Apr 2010 13:38:22 -0700

Dear Daniel

Indeed, I think that Martin is on the right track... here is some sample code

sysuse auto
unab vlist : *
display "`vlist'"
foreach varname of local vlist {
  local varlabel : variable label `varname'
  mata : vl = st_local("varlabel")
  mata : newvarname = strtoname(vl)
  mata : st_local("varname2",newvarname)
  rename `varname' `varname2'

describe , full

  I know this could be done better using more mata, but I hope it helps

Michael N. Mitchell
See the Stata tidbit of the week at...

On 2010-04-12 1.24 PM, Martin Weiss wrote:

help mf_strtoname

comes to mind...


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Daniel Jones
Sent: Montag, 12. April 2010 22:18
Subject: st: Changing variable name to variable label

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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