The first thing we need to do is to start the statistical software program, STATA. So let’s go! If you know how to start STATA, do so now. If you don’t, a good place to start is by looking for the STATA icon on the desktop or in the Programs list after clicking the Start button on the bottom left hand corner of your screen. The STATA icon should look something like the one reproduced below:
Launch STATA now, by clicking on the STATA program icon, if you have not already done so. When you load STATA, a screen something like the one presented in the figure below should appear:
When you launch Stata you‟ll see that the screen is divided into four windows:
- Command window,
- review window,
- variables window and
- results window
We’ll enter commands using the command window at the bottom right of the screen. To give Stata an instruction, you type a command into this window and press the Enter/Return key. The toolbar at the top of the screen contains menus like “File”, “Edit and “Data”. You can give most instructions to Stata either using options in these menus (point and click interface) or by typing commands (command line interface). We’re going to concentrate on using the command line interface, as this is almost always quicker.
The “Review” window keeps a list of all the commands previously executed by STATA. We can repeat any command by choosing it from the list of commands in this window and clicking on it. The selected command will immediately be copied into the Command Window so we can easily edit or run this command again.
The “Variables” window lists the variables that are in your data set and at your disposal for analysis. By clicking on a variable name here it will be copied into the Command Window. Note that when we first open STATA, all these windows will be blank except for the “STATA Results” window, so do not worry if you cannot see any variables for now!
Finally, any STATA output appears in the results window (top right window). Stata will reproduce the command you entered in this window followed by the relevant results. In addition, if there is an error in your coding this is where STATA will notify you (in red writing)