LOOKFOR_ALL

Searches for variables/patterns in Stata data files (.dta)

 

If you want to use lookfor_all, then feel free to use Stata's command

ssc install to download and install lookfor_all:

   ssc install lookfor_all, replace

Disclaimer:  There is no warranty on this software either expressed or implied.  This program is released under the terms and conditions of GNU General Public License.

 

 

About lookfor_all

Programmers:
Zurab Sajaia (zsajaia@hotmail.com)
The World Bank

Michael Lokshin (mlokshin@worldbank.org)
The World Bank

Dan Blanchette
The Carolina Population Center
The University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC  USA

Date:  05Feb2007
Last updated:  06Oct2010


Searching within current directory

 

lookfor_all pattern[pattern [...]] [, options]
where pattern is a word that could be a name (or part of the name) of the variable and/or a word (or part of a word) in the variable label or value label name or value label if the vlabs option is specified or a word (or part of a word) in a note attached to the dataset or a word (or part of a word) in a note attached to a variable if the notes option is specified.  lookfor_all only does case insensitive searches so searching for "test" may find "Test", "TEST", or "tESt" as well as "test".

 

Searching within current directory and subdirectories
lookfor_all pattern[pattern [...]] [, subdir options]

 

Main


directory(path) an option to specify the root directory where to search

subdir an option for searching subdirectories

describe an option to format the output

codebook another option to format the output

vlabs also search value label names and value labels

notes also search patterns in dataset notes and variable notes

dnotes also search patterns in dataset notes

dnotes also search patterns in variable notes

Advanced


maxdepth(integer > 1) an option to specify how far down a directory tree to search

maxvvar an option for Stata SE or Stata MP users to allow lookfor_all to open a dataset with up to 32,767 variables

dirfilter(regular expression) an option to specify a regular expression pattern that the subdirectory name has to satisfy in order to search files in that directory.

filter(regular expression) an option to specify a regular expression pattern that the file name has to satisfy in order to search the file.

Description

lookfor_all is an extension of the Stata program lookforlookfor_all searches through all Stata data files in a current directory and subdirectories for the variable(s) with at least one of the specified patterns.  Each pattern could be a part/whole variable name and/or a word (part of the word) in the variable label.  lookfor_all outputs the list of data files where the pattern was found and the list of variables within every data file that match the pattern.  The files listed are clickable.  By clicking on the file, Stata loads that data file into memory.  lookfor_all can also search a directory other than the current directory by specifying the directory(path) option for a search.

 

Options

Main


directory(path) specifies the path where lookfor_all should start searching.  By default lookfor_all searches files in the current directory.
subdir if specified lookfor_all searches through all Stata data files ( .dta ) in the current directory and subdirectories or the specified directory and its subdirectories.  If this option is not specified lookfor_all searches only within the files in the current directory or the specified directory.
describe controls the way the variables that match the pattern are outputted.  By default lookfor_all outputs the variables following the name of the data file they are in.  Specifying describe makes Stata run the describe command on the variables that were found.  You can control the output using the options of the Stata command describe.  These options are simple short details fullname numbers.
codebook controls the way the variables that match the pattern are outputted.  Specifying codebook makes Stata run the codebook command on the variables that were found.  The output will be the number of unique observations, mean, minimum, maximum and the label of the matching variables.  You can control the output using the options of the Stata command codebook.
vlabs if specified lookfor_all will also search through the value label names and value labels.

Advanced


maxdepth(integer > 1) if specified lookfor_all will only search through all Stata data files ( .dta ) as far down as the positive integer value that is specified.  If subdir is not specified and maxdepth is, then it is assumed subdirectories should be searched.
maxvar if specified and you are using Stata SE or MP, lookfor_all will temporarily set maxvar to the maximum which is 32767 so that lookfor_all can search a dataset that contains more variables than maxvar is currently set to be able to open.  Changing the setting of maxvar will stop the page up key from being able to access command history.  So if you set maxvar to 32767 yourself before running lookfor_all, lookfor_all will not need to set it and you will be able to access your command history with the page up key after running lookfor_all.
dirfilter(regular expression) if specified lookfor_all will only search through all Stata data files ( .dta ) in the current directory or specified directory and only subdirectories that satisfy the regular expression pattern.
rfilter(regular expression) if specified lookfor_all will only search through Stata data files ( .dta ) that satisfy the regular expression pattern.

 

Examples of searching within the current directory

   . lookfor_all edu

   . lookfor_all edu, describe simple

   . lookfor_all edu, de short

 

Examples of searching the current directory and sub-directories

   . lookfor_all edu, sub

   . lookfor_all edu, maxdepth(3) de fullnames

   . lookfor_all edu, sub codebook vlabs

   . lookfor_all edu, dirfilter(data) codebook

 

Examples of searching the specified directory

   . lookfor_all edu, sub de dir("c:\data\")

   . lookfor_all edu, sub de dir("c:\data\") filter(^wave1)

 

 

Useful suggestions and feedback by Phil Bardsley and Michael Norman Mitchell are gratefully acknowledged.

This Michael Norman Mitchell's Stata Tidbit of the week on lookfor_all.

Also see

Online: lookfor, describe, and codebook

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