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Re: st: Stata to Matlab

From   "P. Wilner Jeanty" <>
Subject   Re: st: Stata to Matlab
Date   Thu, 19 Apr 2012 11:41:26 -0500

On Sun, Apr 15, 2012 at 7:46 AM, Mario Veneziani
<> wrote:
> Dear Rui,
> I hope this mine finds you well indeed.
> Unfortunately, I will not be able to respond to your query in full but
> I am able to give you a couple of preliminary tips you might find
> useful in preparing your dataset for import in Matlab if anybody else
> chimes in with additional suggestions.
> First of all, I am aware that Matlab does not accept datafiles
> containing variables stored as strings. It imports only numeric text
> files. Therefore, if your Stata file contains string variables you
> have to drop them before attempting to go to Matlab.
> Second of all, it is my understanding that Matlab treats the name of
> the variables (the columns of the matrix of data it imports) quite
> differently from STATA. It seems to me that you might need to let
> Matlab know the name of the columns (or of the variables) through
> either a variable storing the other variables' names and/or through a
> different text file with names only.
> Having said that, I believe the best strategy to convert the datafile
> from Stata to Matlab is using Stattransfer which will protect you from
> "unusual" behaviours of both Stata and Matlab in the export/import
> procedure (i.e., the addition of hidden characters and their ensuing
> reading as empty columns). Please note that converting a 1 GB Stata
> file into a Matlab one might be highly intensive computationally, so
> either use a powerful computer or exercise your patience. It remains
> to be seen then whether Matlab is like Stata which adds memory to
> accommodate very large datasets. Unfortunately, I never got to verify
> this information myself.
> I hope this helps you, somewhat!
> Best regards
> Mario
> Il 15 aprile 2012 04:59, Rui Zeng <> ha scritto:
>> Dear Statalist,
>> Is is possible to read a stata file of size of one gigabyte into matlab? If so, how can I do that? thanks!
>> Rui
>> *
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> --
> Mario Veneziani
> Research Assistant
> Istituto di Economia Agroalimentare
> Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
> Piacenza, Italy

Dear Rui,

Mario has made some valid points you need to consider in preparing
your data for import into Matlab. But, have you given -outsheet- a
shot? -outsheet- always works for me in importing my data into Matlab.
Admittedly, I have never imported a dataset as large as yours. So,
similar to Mario, I cannot speak to the size issue. If you use
-outsheet-, what you can export to Matlab depends on what -outsheet-
can actually outsheet. After dropping everything you don't need or
anything such as string variables with numeric or alphanumeric
characters that can hinder the import process, you can give a call to
-outsheet- like:

outsheet using filename.dat, nonames nolabel

And in Matlab as you know, you code

load filename.dat;

If Matlab allows you to import more than what -outsheet- can outsheet,
which I doubt, then outsheet bits of data that you can combine in

Please tell us about your experience with -outsheet-



P. Wilner Jeanty, Research Scientist
Rice University
Kinder Institute for Urban Research & Hobby Center for the Study of Texas
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas
(713) 348-3114

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