Getting help for Stata


There are several ways to get help for Stata commands within Stata:

  • help
  • menus
  • search

The Help menu links you to the PDF Documentation, which is the full set of official manuals for Stata. The help command gives most or all of the same information, but you must know the command.

The Data, Graphics, and Statistics menus build Stata commands for you. They are function-oriented, so you do not need to know the command or syntax.

The search command and link in the Help menu allows a keyword search for related words that are not themselves Stata commands. They will point you to help for the related commands. It searches not only the help files that come with Stata but also a wide range of web-based resources at Stata Corp and elsewhere. Type help search for details.

Web-based Help

The search command searches most web-based resources for specific commands and keywords. However, if you want more general help, such as a tutorial, a good resource is the UCLA's IDRE Stat website. It has links to resources for many statistical computing programs, including Stata, and has a search feature. You may also want to explore Stata's Resources for learning Stata.


CPC no longer maintains current printed copies of the Stata manual set, since the full set is available in PDF in the Help menu. However, we do have other Stata and third-party books that focus on specific topics in Stata programming. These books are shelved in the CPC library and can be checked out.

User-Supplied Stata Commands

Many more commands are available for Stata than are shipped in the official version. Stata Corporation encourages users to develop new commands, and at times adopts these commands in some form into their official version. These include statistical, data management, and graphics commands. If you don't see a command in the official Stata manuals or help, the search command will search the user-supplied command archives. You can also search the main repository at the Boston College Department of Economics:


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