Useful string functions in Stata (updated list)

Most often when I search the internet for help on Stata, it is probably when I need to work with string variables (such as names). There are some very good summaries that cover aspects of string variables (e.g., this page). In this post –which will be continuously updated– we present random string functions that we think are extremely useful for Stata users.

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Piecewise execution of do-files in Stata

Do-files in Stata easily get a bit lengthy. Of course, you can try to shorten do-files and distribute code onto several do-files and have one master file that runs all of the respective sub-do-files (which are included by do dosubfile1.do). Alternatively, you can leave the do-file longish but write your code such that you only run parts of the code at once:

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Use of embedded quotation marks within locals in Stata

Proper use of single and double quotation marks is essential when working in Stata, especially when writing loops where locals can be a huge time and memory saver. The use of single and double quotation marks is rather straightforward (using ` and ‘ for single, and ” for double quotation marks). You can rather easily define a local, e.g. based on the average of a variable

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Supress labels in Stata figures

A great feature of Stata figures is that you can mix several plot types in one by using the twoway (...) (...) command. If you have several plots merged into one twoway graph and also want to add a legend, the legend might become a bit crowded. In the following example, legends are specified with the , legend(lab(1 "Scatter 1") lab (4 "Scatter 2")) option because I only wanted to mark the diamonds and circles in the legend:

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