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Re: st: best practice for dates and times

From   Nick Cox <>
Subject   Re: st: best practice for dates and times
Date   Sat, 19 Feb 2011 20:08:53 +0000

The solution depends on the problem. Sometimes, it is easier to import
numeric variables and then convert them to Stata dates. This can be
very easy. See for example

Sometimes it is easier to import string variables (which I take it is
what you mean by "text format") and convert them.

I don't think there is any general better or best solution
independently of how the dates are presented to you and what you want
to do with them.

Most of the complexity is apparent rather than real. The main
difficulty is wading through the documentation to find the function
you need. Once you've found a solution, it is easy to repeat it.

Recently I was working with a dataset in which there were four data
columns, Julian date, year, month and day and hour. The people I was
working with didn't care about Julian date, so the main business was
to apply -mdy()- and then -format-. Hour was just 0 or 12, so the most
practical way forward was just to add 0.5 when the measurements were
taken at midday.


On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 7:50 PM, Liao, Junlin <> wrote:
> I find that transfer data with dates and times is rather complicated with Stata. Lately I found that importing dates and times in text format and then converting with Stata functions would be the simplest approach. I'd like to hear if others have better solutions.

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