Stata Help

Introduction to Stata & This Website

Stata is a software package for the statistical analysis of data. You have two options for interacting with Stata: (1) clicking on menus and tabs and (2) typing in the command line. Depending on what you want to do, it is often faster to use the command line (typing interface) rather than the menus and tabs.

We will indicate when we think menus or the command window will be faster/easier. In addition, there will often be notes about how to access a command via the menu and why that might be preferable.

In general, if you are new to Stata, it is strongly recommended that you look at the sample session or browse some of the tutorials before starting your analysis or entering/importing your own data. Like many programs, Stata has its own feel and by engaging in some preliminary exploration, you will get a better sense of the software.

In this site, we will use different text styles to make it clear what you should be doing. The Item style indicates either an item in a menu or a button on a dialogue. For example, if we specify "navigate to File => Change Working Directory", you should understand that "File" is a menu and "Change Working Directory" is an option on that menu. Similarly, if we refer to the Review window, look for a window in Stata that is titled "Review."

The Command style indicates text to type into the Command window. Every Stata command requires more than just the command itself to work, so, for example, commands will often be given as oneway [dep variable] [indep variable]. (Replace [dep variable] with the name of the dependent variable and [indep variable] with the name of your independent variable.)

Note that you want to use the names of the variables and not their labels (e.g., sex instead of "Participant's Gender"). To add a variable to the command window without typing, you can click on that variable in the Variables window. Parentheses, commas and any other non-alphanumeric symbols should be typed. If the example is given as ttest depvar, by(grouping var), give Stata the command by typing, for example, ttest gpa, by(gender). To learn more about using commands in Stata, see the syntax tutorial.

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