Stata Tidbits

These tidbits contain bits and pieces of information I hope you find helpful to use Stata more effectively. You can receive notifications of new tidbits as they are added (via email) by clicking on the subscribe box at the left. (Every email has an unsubscribe link, making it a snap to unsubscribe.)
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Tuesday
Apr132010

Capturing and sharing screen images

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true when it comes to describing an image on your computer screen that you want to share with others. I have happened upon a free program that makes it extremely easy to share images of your computer screen with others. The program is called Jing and you can download it from http://www.jingproject.com/.

So why am I sharing this as a Stata tidbit of the week? One reason is that I think this could be a great way for people to easily share screen images on Statalist when posting questions and answers. Consider this example question...

To: StataList
From: Marge N. O'Error
Subject: marker labels

Dear Statalist

  I want to use the graph editor to change the position of
the marker labels on my graph. I would like the marker
labels to appear above the markers, instead of
beside the marker labels. Looking at the
graph contained at 

http://screencast.com/t/OGY2NDY2

  I would like to move all of the marker labels
above the marker (e.g., AMC Pacer to be above the marker).
I would like to do this using the Graph editor.

Many thanks,

Marge

The readers of the question can click on the link and see the image to see exactly what Marge is asking.

Jing can not only be used for outputing an image of the screen, but it can also capture a movie of the screen. An example reply to Marge could include a movie showing how (rather than describing in writing) to move the marker labels. Here is an example reply.

To: StataList
From: Kick Nox
Subject: re: marker labels

Dear Marge

  The following movie shows how you can change
the position of the marker labels in your graph.

http://screencast.com/t/YjViZGRjNjct

Best regards,

Kick

Now, I admit that the examples I used here are overly simple and did not require a screen capture in the question or a movie for the answer. However, I think you can see how these tools could be useful for being able to post questions and answers.

Of course, this tool is not limited to posting questions and answers on StataList. It could be used in any situation where you want to share a screen image or screen movie with someone else. For example, maybe you would like to save a screen image for posting onto your web site. I saved the image from the StataList question above and show it below.

We can even embed the movies into a web page. Below is the movie of Kick's answer to Marge's question.

In the coming weeks I will be including tidbits that use movies like these to illustrate point and click tasks within Stata.

You can download the example data files from this tidbit (as well as all of the other tidbits) as shown below. These will download all of the example data files into the current folder on your computer. (If you have done this before, then you may need to specify net get stowdata, replace to overwrite the existing files.

net from http://www.MichaelNormanMitchell.com/storage/stowdata net get stowdata

If you have thoughts on this Stata Tidbit of the Week, you can post a comment. You can also send me an email at MichaelNormanMitchell and then the at sign and gmail dot com. If you are receiving this tidbit via email, you can find the web version at http://www.michaelnormanmitchell.com/ .

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Reader Comments (2)

What a neat tool! I could see it being useful on Statalist.

The only remaining question: How did you get -list make- to produce an error 111? Let me guess the sequence was:

sysuse auto, clear
rename make makeofcar
set varabbrev off
list make

Best,
Martin

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Weiss

Dear Martin

Thanks for the comment!

Yes, that is exactly the turn of events! Except I realized that I pasted in the link from the wrong video.... so I have updated the posting to have the correct video... that video will appear in a future tidbit.

Best,

Michael

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
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