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Re: st: insheet and dropping cases

From   Sergiy Radyakin <>
To   "" <>
Subject   Re: st: insheet and dropping cases
Date   Thu, 20 Feb 2014 13:27:36 -0500


-- the problem is likely caused by presence of unprintable characters
in the file, that are tolerated by StatTransfer, but not by Stata;

-- character with ASCII code 255 is a usual suspect;

-- pasting raw data to statalist is likely not to reveal the problem,
since the special characters might not survive massaging throw emails;

-- isolating the problem in the text editor into a new file could help
(keep the last record read in correctly and one immediately after),
then make the file available through a link, to retain its binary
structure, not all text editors will retain special chars on save;

-- use hexdump "file" , analyze tabulate to see unprintable
characters, then search for them in the file or use filefilter;

-- see "zap gremlins" for relevant tactic.

On the bright side: you are lucky you have 363 cases. Last time I had
this problem, only 16gb out of 40gb were read in. Try to open that
file in the notepad :)

Hope this helps.

Best, Sergiy Radyakin

On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:34 PM, Radwin, David <> wrote:
> One other possibility is to use -inputst-, a Stata program that calls Stat/Transfer (part of -stcmd- by Roger Newson and available at SSC).
> This workaround is probably less computationally efficient than the suggestions from others, but since you already know that Stat/Transfer works, this approach might be faster and easier than trying to figure out the problem with your text files and -insheet- or -import delimited-.
> David
> --
> David Radwin, Senior Research Associate
> Education and Workforce Development
> RTI International
> 2150 Shattuck Ave. Suite 800, Berkeley, CA 94704
> Phone: 510-665-8274
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: [mailto:owner-
>>] On Behalf Of Phil Schumm
>> Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2014 6:38 AM
>> To: Statalist Statalist
>> Subject: Re: st: insheet and dropping cases
>> On Feb 20, 2014, at 8:28 AM, Ben Hoen <> wrote:
>> > Hexdump I had never used.  This is what it returned:
>> <snip>
>> > Do you see anything suspicious here?  (I replaced all the commas with
>> "_", using filefilter - another great suggestion -  wondering if that was
>> causing any issues and insheet still returned 184 observations.)
>> I don't see anything obvious -- you'll need to look at the file directly.
>> Is Stata reading the first 184 observations, or are the 184 observations
>> from different places in the file?  Check that first, and if you are
>> getting the first 184 observations, then look at lines 184-6 (depending on
>> whether the file has a header line).  Something has to be going on there.
>> -- Phil
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