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st: identifying variables

From   Abhimanyu Arora <>
Subject   st: identifying variables
Date   Mon, 9 Apr 2012 04:50:30 +0200

Dear statalist
I need to identify the variables for which the first observation
contains the string "real".
I used Nick Cox's -findname- from the SSC (updated 27 February 2012)
in the following command.

findname var1-var56 in 1,all(regexm("@","real+")) loc (varnames)

But since -return list- comes up empty, something is amiss, perhaps in
the use of the regular expression. May I also request some clarity in
understanding of the role played by a "placeholder" in -findname-? As
I see it, a generally character designated as a "placeholder" is
supposed to take on supplied values—string or numerals. Or in other
words, how would stata read the "@" in the above command?

Many thanks and best regards

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