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Note: This FAQ is intended for users of Stata 9. It is not relevant for more current versions.

Stata’s Help stopped working; how do I fix it?

Title   How to fix Stata’s Help under Windows
Author Alan Riley, StataCorp


You pulled down Help from the menu bar, and you got a white box with a red X indicating that help is not available. Everything seems to be installed correctly, and, if you type something like help anova in Stata’s command window, that works.


Either the directory that the TEMP environment variable points to does not exist, or it does exist but for some reason there are leftover Stata help temporary files there.

Start Stata and type the following:

        . tempfile junk
        . macro list _junk

You will see something like

        . tempfile junk

        . macro list _junk
        _junk:       C:\TEMP\ST000000.tmp

Now remember the C:\TEMP\ part.

Exit Stata, open a DOS window, and try to cd to that directory:

        C:\WINDOWS> cd \TEMP

If you cannot cd to that directory, create it:

        C:\WINDOWS> md \TEMP

If you can cd to that directory, type "DIR ST*.TMP" on it, and see if there are any Stata temporary files. If there are, erase them:

        C:\TEMP> del st*.tmp