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st: -writeinput- available from SSC Archives

From   Eric Booth <>
To   "" <>
Subject   st: -writeinput- available from SSC Archives
Date   Tue, 26 Apr 2011 04:35:18 +0000


Thanks to Kit Baum, a new program -writeinput- is now available from SSC.  Stata 9.2 is required.  Use -ssc- to install if interested. 

-writeinput- is a convenient way to create a snippet of your data for inclusion in a do-file, a Statalist posting (much in the spirit of the Statalist FAQ), or self-contained examples provided to students or colleges.  Many times, having a snapshot of the data to share in a Statalist question or response reduces the chance of confusion or various interpretations of what is being asked.  

However, creating a good example isn't always straightforward.  Sometimes users may adapt a canned dataset or give code for for -generate-ing some illustrative variables;  other times they may try to describe the data structure or perhaps paste some data into an email.  Poor descriptions of data and poorly pasted/wrapped dataset examples are frequent culprits on Statalist.  A good solution is to create an -input- command to write the dataset used in the example and include this -input- command in your Statalist posting or do-file example, but this can be tedious.  The user must indicate in variable formats for the varlist and put double quotes around string variable values with embedded spaces in the -input- command.

-writeinput- eases the process of creating an example dataset by writing to a do-file the -input- command for an entire dataset or a subset of your data (selected by a varlist, if, or in conditions).  More on this command is available by typing -help writeinput- after installing the program or by visiting my webpage at

- Eric 
Eric A. Booth
Public Policy Research Institute
Texas A&M University
Office: +979.845.6754

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