Stata’s Graphical User Interface
You can access all of Stata’s data management, statistical, and analysis
features from the menus and associated dialogs. Select any feature from the
Data, Graphics, or Statistics menu and fill in the
resulting dialog. All features can be found in the menus, from generating a
new variable to match-merges and reshaping datasets, from tabulations and
summary statistics to negative binomial regression of a count outcome with
We displayed the dialog by clicking the Statistics menu, selecting
Survey data analysis, selecting Count outcomes, and
selecting Negative binomial regression.
Besides making Stata easier to use, the GUI allows you to discover features
you never knew existed. Just to make it easier, there is a topical index
built into the online help system.
Even command-line aficionados will find Stata’s GUI useful. The GUI makes
commands you are using for the first time easier to learn by showing you the
command and the proper syntax for the operation that you wish to perform.
If you click on the screenshot of the main interface above, you will see
several windows within it.
The main one in the center, partially covered up by the menu we have open,
is the Results window. The results from your analyses appear here.
Just underneath it is the Command window where you can type commands
when you aren't using the GUI to manage and analyze your data.
To the left is the Review window. This is your command history, and
it shows all commands you have typed during your Stata session and
all commands Stata created for you when you work with the GUI.
At the top right is the Variables window, and under it is the
Properties window. You can use these together to manage your
variables, including their names, labels, value labels, notes, formats, and
Stata’s GUI has several other specialized tools to help you work
Data Editor: This provides a live view onto your data. Leave it up
while you work in Stata and watch what is happening to your data. You can
also input data, copy-and-paste data (and preview data on the clipboard
before importing it), and manage variables just as in the main interface.
And, there is a unique “browse” mode which locks down the Data
Editor into a read-only mode so you can safely look at your data without
fear that an accidental key press will change something.
Read more here.
Variables Manager: For quick changes to your variables, you can use
the Variables window in the main interface or in the Data Editor. But, for
managing hundreds or thousands of variables, their names, labels, notes, and
types, you’ll want to take advantage of the Variables Manager, a
dedicated tool for working with large numbers of variables.
Read more here.
Do-file Editor: Edit your Stata batch files/scripts (do-files), Stata
programs, Stata help files, or any text document. The Do-file Editor has
specialized features for programmers such as syntax highlighting, code
folding, bookmarks to important lines in your code, brace matching, and
more. Read more here.
Viewer: The Viewer is where you use Stata’s help system. It
works like the help window does in most applications but has some special
features to help you work more efficiently in Stata. For example, it
provides an interface to Stata’s Internet features for finding and
installing new free additions
written by StataCorp and other users. The Viewer also gives you quick
access to the dialog(s) for the command in the help file, links related to
the help file you are looking at, such as its full PDF manual entry, and to
sections within the current help file.
Graph Editor: When you draw a graph in Stata, it opens in a separate
window known as the Graph window. From there you can print the
graph, copy it to the clipboard, and export it to formats such as PDF, EPS,
PNG, and TIFF. You can click on a button which transforms the Graph window
into the Graph Editor which gives you full point-and-click access to
edit every aspect of your graphs. You can even “record” the
edits you make and apply them to another graph, or to hundreds of other
graphs. Read more here and
The same tools Stata uses to create its GUI are available to you as well.
You can extend the GUI by creating your own dialogs and adding your own
menus. The same code you write on your computer will work across Windows,
Mac, and Unix.
There is more than we can list here, but a few other highlights are
- Everything you do from the GUI, everything, is reflected as a
command submitted to Stata, so you have a complete reproducible
audit trail of all data management and analyses you perform even
when you work from the GUI.
- There is a GUI interface, usually a dialog box, for every command
in Stata. If you need help issuing a command, simply open up
the dialog for it and it will show you the way.
- Stata for Windows and Stata for Mac can export graphs and results
directly to PDF files.
- There are many preferences for adjusting the layout of Stata’s
windows, its fonts, colors, and more. Stata for Windows even
lets you choose from several preset schemes ideal for
presentations, high-resolution monitors, and more.
Overview: Why use Stata?
New in Stata 12