Stata 8 Graphics: Options, sub-options and sub-sub-options
Stata 8 graphics have changed out of all recognition from that available in earlier versions. It was not just that a whole new array of options and sub-options were introduced, but the graph syntax itself completely changed. Just trying to produce a simple plot of x against y using Stata 7 syntax (graph x y) produced bewildering error messages e.g. xgraph_g.new y: class member function not found r(4023) and the like. If you did succeed in working out the new syntax (graph twoway scatter x y) it then seemed to take forever-and-a-day for that oh-so-very-simple graph to appear. Even if you were the patient type prepared to wait for that graph to appear numerous bugs further tested your resolve to persevere. Many gave up at this point and chose to use the graph7 option that enabled the user to access the old graph commands. Life was too short! But, things have moved on and quickened up considerably. Stata 8 does offer the potential to produce effective publication-standard graphs. A broad range of graph types are available with the user being able to control almost every aspect of what will appear. Taking time to learn the new graph syntax and to explore the options, sub-options and even sub-sub-options will pay dividends. The aim of this session is to convince you of the benefit of persevering with Stata 8 graphs. It will introduce some of the more useful graph types, in particular the twoway family. These will be used to show how to build a graph command, to highlight some of the more useful options available, and to show how to produce an eye-catching and effective end product.
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