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Note: This FAQ is for editing Stata 9 graphs in Microsoft Word 97 (or later versions).

How can I edit a Stata graph in Microsoft Word?

Title   How to edit a Stata graph in Microsoft Word
Author Jens M. Lauritsen

  1. Make sure you have the wmf import filter installed in Word (usually, this feature is already installed).
  2. Make sure graph options in Stata are set (copy format wmf, with color/black white, lines etc.). Also check if the copy and print options are set as you like in the graph preferences on the appearances tab.
  3. Create your graph in Stata, and then copy it to the clipboard. Copy graph (Ctrl+C) or export to wmf file using translate:
        . translate figure.gph figure.wmf
  1. Start Word.
  2. Import Graph into Word as a wmf from file by pulling down Insert and choosing Picture - from file, or use Paste from the clipboard (Ctrl+V).

  1. Right click on the picture and select Edit Picture.
  2. Open the Drawing toolbar, if not already open.
  3. Put your mouse in the middle of the graph and "ungroup" the whole content. To do this, click Draw on the drawing toolbar and choose Ungroup from the menu. (This can also be done with a right click of your mouse.) If the Ungroup option is not highlighted, then the drawing is already "ungrouped".
  4. Click outside of the graph to unselect all the objects auto selected by the ungroup procedure.
  5. Click the pointing device (the arrow on the left-hand side of the drawing toolbar), and encircle the objects you want to change, move, or delete. Sometimes, the background of the graph can interfere with this procedure. If this happens, click and start your selection somewhere just outside of the graph.
  6. Make the changes to the graph. This process can be used to change the font, change the line thickness, add lines, add text, remove an axis completely, and/or remove tickmarks or whatever else the user wishes.
  7. Note: After you import the graph, during editing the vertical axis labels may be automatically changed by Word to contain horizontal text. This can easily be fixed. If you click on the "horizontal" text once, the textbox is highlighted. The direction of text can then be changed in two ways: 1) From the "Format" menu, choose "text direction" and change to the original vertical direction; and 2) If, when you highlight the label, a toolbar appears, the last button on the toolbar can be used to rotate the text to the original format (This toolbar may not appear on older versions of Word).

Raw Stata graph File:


Stata graph after editing: