Stata Features: Export tables to Excel

A new feature in Stata 13, designed by Kevin Crow, putexcel, allows you to easily export matrices, expressions and stored results to an Excel file. Combining putexcel with a Stata command’s stored results allows you to create the table displayed in your Stata Results window in an Excel file, as follows.

A stored result is simply a scalar, macro or matrix stored in memory after you run a Stata command. The two main types of stored results are e-class (for estimation commands) and r-class (for general commands). You can list a command’s stored results after it has been run by typing ereturn list (for estimation commands) or return list (for general commands). Here’s a simple example by loading the auto dataset and running correlate on the variables foreign and mpg:

. sysuse auto
(1978 Automobile Data)

. correlate foreign mpg

             |  foreign      mpg
     foreign |   1.0000
         mpg |   0.3934   1.0000

Because correlate is not an estimation command, use the return list command to see its stored results.

. return list

                  r(N) =  74
                r(rho) =  .3933974152205484

                  r(C) :  2 x 2

Now you can use putexcel to export these results to Excel. The basic syntax of putexcel is:

putexcel excel_cell=(expression) … using filename [, options]

If you are working with matrices, the syntax is:

putexcel excel_cell=matrix(expression) … using filename [, options]

It’s easy to build the above syntax in the putexcel dialog (there’s also helpful YouTube tutorial about the dialog here). List the matrix r(C) to show the below:

. matrix list r(C)

symmetric r(C)[2,2]
           foreign        mpg
foreign          1
    mpg  .39339742          1

To re-create the table in Excel, you need to export the matrix r(C) with the matrix row and column names. The command to type in your Stata Command window is:

putexcel A1=matrix(r(C), names) using corr

Note that to export the matrix row and column names, the example used the names option after we specifed the matrix r(C). When corr.xlsx file is opened in Excel, the table below is displayed:

Producing Excel tables with Stata 1

Next let’s try a more involved example. Load the auto dataset, and run a tabulation on the variable foreign. Because tabulate is not an estimation command, use the return list command to see its stored results.

. sysuse auto
(1978 Automobile Data)

. tabulate foreign

   Car type |      Freq.     Percent        Cum.
   Domestic |         52       70.27       70.27
    Foreign |         22       29.73      100.00
      Total |         74      100.00

. return list

                  r(N) =  74
                  r(r) =  2

tabulate is different from most commands in Stata in that it does not automatically save all the results we need into the stored results (we will use scalar r(N)). The matcell() and matrow() options of tabulate are used to save the results produced by the command into two Stata matrices.

. tabulate foreign, matcell(freq) matrow(names)

   Car type |      Freq.     Percent        Cum.
   Domestic |         52       70.27       70.27
    Foreign |         22       29.73      100.00
      Total |         74      100.00

. matrix list freq

r1  52
r2  22

. matrix list names

r1   0
r2   1

The putexcel commands used to create a basic tabulation table in Excel column 1 row 1 are:

putexcel A1=("Car type") B1=("Freq.") C1=("Percent") using results, replace
putexcel A2=matrix(names) B2=matrix(freq) C2=matrix(freq/r(N)) using results,

Below is the table produced in Excel using these commands:

Producing Excel tables with Stata 1

Again this is a basic tabulation table. You probably noticed that the Cum. column or the Total row in the export table are not displayed. Also the Car type column contains the numeric values (0,1), not the value labels (Domestic, Foreign) of the variable foreign and that the Percent column is not formatted correctly. To get the exact table displayed in the Results window into an Excel file takes a little programming. With a few functions and a forvalues loop, users can easily export any table produced by running the tabulate command on a numeric variable.

There are two extended macro functions, label and display, that can help with this. The label function can extract the value labels for each variable and the display function can correctly format numbers for the numeric columns. Last, you can use forvalues to loop over the rows of the returned matrices to produce the final tables.


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