help for stcmd, inputst, outputst and outputstold                (Roger Newson)

Running the Stat/Transfer command from inside Stata

stcmd [ filetype1 ] infilename.ext1 [ filetype2 ] outfilename.ext2 [ switches ]

stcmd command_filename.stcmd

inputst [ filetype ] infilename.ext [ switches ]

outputst [ filetype ] outfilename.ext [ switches ]

outputstold [ filetype ] outfilename.ext [ switches ]


stcmd calls the Stat/Transfer command st to convert the data file infilename.ext1 to a new data file outfilename.ext2, or to obey the commands in the Stat/Transfer command file command_filename.stcmd. inputst inputs into the memory a Stata-converted version of the data file infilename.ext, overwriting any existing dataset. outputst outputs a converted version of the Stata dataset in memory to the data file outfilename.ext. outputstold is an alternative version of outputst, for use if the user's version of Stat/Transfer is not advanced enough to read datasets in the format of the user's version of Stata. File types are determined by filetype, filetype1 and/or filetype2, if present, and by Stat/Transfer from the extensions ext, ext1 and/or ext2 otherwise. File names containing spaces must be given in quotes. stcmd, inputst or outputst output a running commentary on the transfer process (including the Stat/Transfer command to be submitted) to the Stata log or Results window, unless the user uses the quietly prefix.

Switches for use with stcmd, inputst, outputst and outputstold

These are prefixed by / under Windows and by - under Unix. A list of these switches can be found in the Stat/Transfer manual for the user's installation. The Windows switches for Version 9 of Stat/Transfer are as follows:

/o- specifies that Stat/Transfer will not optimize the output data set to be as small as possible (as Stat/Transfer does by default).

/oc specifies that Stat/Transfer will optimize the output data set to be as small as possible, and automatically drop constant or missing variables.

/od specifies that Stat/Transfer will optimize the output data set to be as small as possible, but produce double precision variables where appropriate.

/ocd specifies that Stat/Transfer will optimize the output data set to be as small as possible, and automatically drop constant or missing variables, but produce double precision variables where appropriate.

/q specifies that Stat/Transfer will execute quietly, producing no messages, with the exception of error messages and warnings that a file is about to be overwritten.

/r[page!]coor specifies a worksheet range, limited to page page and coordinates specified by coor, in an input worksheet file. The coordinates specify a top left and bottom right cell in the worksheet. For instance, /r2!b5:e75 specifies that the data are on page 2 of the input file, between the top left cell b5 and the bottom right cell e75.

/s will turn on messages and leave the Stat/Transfer window open until the return key is pressed. This may be useful if Stat/Transfer appears not to be working.

/ttablename is used in order to specify a table (or worksheet) within a data source containing multiple tables (or worksheets).

/vversion_number specifies that Stat/Transfer will write the output dataset in the version of the appropriate format specified by the version_number, which should be a positive integer. If this switch is not specified, then Stat/Transfer writes the output dataset in the latest version of the appropriate format.

/y specifies that outfilename.ext will be overwritten, if it already exists. (If /y is not specified, then Stat/Transfer consults the user before overwriting files.)


Stat/Transfer can be installed on Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and some Unix platforms. It is available from Stata Corporation and developed by Circle Systems.

inputst, outputst and outputstold call stcmd, which in turn calls the Stat/Transfer st command. For a list of file types and standard extensions used by Stat/Transfer, see the Stat/Transfer manual or on-line help.

inputst, outputst and outputstold all use temporary Stata datafiles to pass the data in the memory to and from Stat/Transfer. These temporary Stata datafiles are automatically deleted when inputst and outputst finish execution. In the case of outputstold, the temporary Stata datafile is written using saveold, and will be in the format of an earlier Stata version, which may be recognized by out-of-date versions of Stat/Transfer. If the user does not use the quietly prefix, then inputst and outputst give a running commentary to the user on the creation of these temporary Stata datafiles, and on their use as input or output by Stata and Stat/Transfer. This is done in order to inform the user of the state of progress of the transfer, in case the transfer is not completed successfully. The /s or -s switch mentioned above, may also be useful, if Stat/Transfer does not appear to be working.

Technical notes

The path for the Stat/Transfer st command varies from system to system. stcmd assumes that this path is simply st, unless the global macro StatTransfer_path is evaluated, in which case stcmd assumes that the path is equal to the value of that macro. Therefore, if the directory containing Stat/Transfer is on the user's default path, then the user need not set a value for the global macro StatTransfer_path. Otherwise, the user should set a value for the global macro StatTransfer_path. This is probably done most easily by inserting a line into the user's profile do-file to initialize this global macro every time the user starts Stata. For instance, under Windows, if the user's profile do-file contains the line

. global StatTransfer_path `"c:\Program Files\StatTransfer10\st.exe"'

and the st program of Stat/Transfer, in the user's system, has path "c:\Program Files\StatTransfer10\st.exe", then stcmd will find the st command of Stat/Transfer correctly on that path.

Note that, when the user upgrades to a new version of Stat/Transfer, the upgrade creates a new directory, containing the new version of st.exe. Therefore, when Stat/Transfer is upgraded, either the user's default directory search path should be altered, or the line of code in the user's profile do-file setting the global macro StatTransfer_path should be altered.

The user may also find, after a Stat/Transfer upgrade, that the stcmd package has been downgraded to Stata Version 6. This is because the Stat/Transfer installation program may install the Stata Version 6 version of Stat/Transfer in the user's PERSONAL directory (see help for adopath). This installation in the PERSONAL directory typically contains the Stata Version 6 files stcmd.ado, inputst.ado, outputst.ado, stcmd.hlp, inputst.hlp, and outputst.hlp. If the user has a higher version of Stat/Transfer installed in a directory in a position after PERSONAL of the adopath, then the user should probably remove these files from the PERSONAL directory. After the user has done this, Stata will use the higher version of stcmd.


. inputst spss.sav

. outputst mydata.Rdata /y

. inputst mydata.Rdata /o-

. stcmd R mydata.Rdata hisdata.csv /y . insheet using hisdata.csv, comma clear

. stcmd mystcom.stcmd


Roger Newson, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK. Email: r.newson@imperial.ac.uk

Also see

Manual: [P] macro, [P] sysdir, [D] save, [GSW] C.3 Executing commands every time Stata is started, [GSM] C.1 Executing commands every time Stata is started, [GSU] C.1 Executing commands every time Stata is started On-line: help for macro, adopath, sysdir, saveold, profile, profilew, profilem, profileu Other: Stat/Transfer .PDF Manual if installed