Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Do File in Stata

Stata is a popular statistical software used by researchers and programmers worldwide to easily analyze and interpret data. This tutorial will guide you through the steps involved in creating a do file in Stata and help you become a Stata expert!

What is a Do File?

A do file is an extension used with Stata and allows you to create, store and execute Stata commands and programs. It is a convenient way of organizing your work to ensure greater accuracy and productivity in going through the same analysis again at a later time. You can use do files to store graphs, datasets and other outputs, and they are great for reproducible research.

What are the Benefits of Using a Do File?

Using do files allows you to quickly repeat the same analysis on different datasets. This saves you from having to re-enter the same commands for each new dataset. Do files also enable you to save commands, so if you make a mistake, you can easily go back to the previous version of your analysis.

With do files, you can also programmatically make significant changes to your data, such as sorting, selecting, and laying out variables in more efficient ways. This makes it much easier for other researchers to understand and use your data.

How to Create a Do File in Stata

  1. Open the Stata program.
  2. Go to File > New > Do-file Editor.
  3. You will be asked to choose a folder to save the do file, give the file a name and click “Save”.
  4. You can now start entering commands into your do file.
  5. When you are done, go to File > Save to save the file.


What other file extensions can I use with Stata?

Stata also supports the .dta, .str, .db, .csv, and .dlm file extensions. Each of these file types has a different purpose, and are used to store different types of data.

How do I run the commands in my do file?

To execute a do file in Stata, simply type the command “do [filename]” where [filename] is the name of your do file. This will execute all the commands within the do file.

What are the best practices when creating a do file?

When creating a do file, it is good practice to use meaningful names for variables, avoid abbreviations, add comments to complex code, and to break up commands into separate lines. It is also important to save the file regularly to save your progress.

Is it possible to debug do files?

Yes, it is possible to debug do files. Stata has a debug feature, which can help you identify errors in your do files. To use the debug feature, add the command “debug” before the command that you want to debug.

Does Stata support dynamic do files?

Yes, Stata does support dynamic do files. Dynamic do files are when you run a program and produce different versions of output depending on the data that is being used. To use dynamic do files in Stata, you need to use the bysort command.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.