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Re: st: Excel and numbers treated as strings

From   Rudy Hover <>
Subject   Re: st: Excel and numbers treated as strings
Date   Wed, 9 May 2012 21:36:48 +0200

I would change the numeric variables to string variables before exporting, i.e. use the tostring command. 

Then it is easy to export to Excel. 

On May 9, 2012, at 9:24 PM, Douglas Levy wrote:

> Is there a way to export a file from Stata such that Excel or Access
> would treat a numeric variable as a string? I am processing data in
> Stata to be used in a mail merge in Excel or Access. The file I want
> to export has ZIP (postal) codes in it that I need treated as a string
> variable to preserve any leading zeroes.
> If Excel (or Access) does a "dumb" import of a .csv or .txt file (that
> is, Excel is given no information on the formats of the variables
> being imported and has to guess), it will ignore leading zeroes and
> treat all number variables as numeric. I want to automate my processes
> as much as possible. My thinking is it will be simpler to automate a
> smart export from Stata than to automate a smart import from Excel.
> Is there a trick to exporting data from Stata that will allow Excel
> (or Access) to automatically recognize leading zeroes without being
> told to do so? Perhaps by putting quotation marks surrounding the
> numeric strings before export?
> Does it require Stata 12 (which can output Excel files)? Would it even
> work in Stata 12 (can Stata specify that a variable in an outputted
> Excel file is a string)?
> Thanks for any advice.
> Best,
> Doug
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