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Re: st: Are Stata datasets platform-dependent?

From   Sunil Kumar <>
Subject   Re: st: Are Stata datasets platform-dependent?
Date   Sat, 8 Oct 2011 18:17:42 +0100

Dear RHS,

I'm using Stata 12 on a mac and have downloaded the stata-format files
from and used them with no problem. So I don't think
this should present a problem.


On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 5:57 PM, Rieza Soelaeman <> wrote:
> Dear Stata list,
> SAS programmer here new to Stata [waves at the crowd in the room].
> I'm thinking about getting Stata for my personal computer (a mac) so I
> can do analysis of Measure DHS data ( at
> home, and I was wondering whether it is true that Stata system files
> are platform dependent, as stated on the datasets description part of
> the DHS website (copied and pasted below, see *_*_*_* ).  DHS data are
> available as SAS, SPSS, Stata, and flat file format.  If the *_*_*_*
> part is true, would you then recommend using the flat file instead?
> Thanks,
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> System File Formats (SPSS, SAS, STATA)
> The System File is a binary file that can be read quickly by the
> relevant statistical package.  We provide system files for three
> popular statistical analysis software packages: SPSS (SAV), SAS (SD2),
> and STATA (DTA). Each system file contains all the data and
> descriptive information required to define and use the data, including
> variable names, variable labels, value labels, missing values, etc.
> System files are the preferred format for these data files,
> particularly if the file is large, and if repeated analysis will be
> run using the same data file.
> The main advantages of using the system file (rather than an ASCII
> data file in conjunction with a syntax file) include faster processing
> time, not having to modify the syntax file to refer to the correct
> path of the data file, and the ease of saving changes. The main
> disadvantage is that system files are platform dependent.  *_*_*_* For
> example, the system files that we provide probably cannot be used on a
> Macintosh computer *_*_*_*.  While these have not been tested, it is
> more likely that the ASCII data and syntax files can be accessed on
> different platforms, but will probably require some modification by
> the user.
> Software packages:       SPSS Version 13 (SAV files)
>                                     SAS Version 6 (SD2)
>                                     STATA SE Version 7 (DTA)
> *
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