[EpiData-list] wild cards in variable names?

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Mon Jan 30 15:44:49 CST 2006

I have 70 variables, named var1, var2, . . . var70

> Each has a corresponding numerical variable, which is calculated from 
> the value of var, during data entry, via an IF THEN ELSE statement in 
> the check file:
> var1num, var2num, . . . var70num
> I would like each varXnum to be zero by default, when a new record is 
> opened. 

Easy: (try):
before file
defaultvalue var1num-var70num 0

You must get v3.1 latest build (jan 2006) for this to work. Also the 
variables must be placed in sequence. The first implementation of 
defaultvalue wasa a bit different, updated installation files with the 
text below in the help files are uploaded with about 30 minutes.

The command DEFAULTVALUE can be used to assign a certain value instead 
of “blank” for any fields.

Default values can be defined like this:

In a BEFORE FILE or BEFORE RECORD block you add:


Similarly for lists of fields:

DEFAULTVALUE field1-field10,field12 x
DEFAULTVALUE field14-field20,field11 "x"

In a field block:

A DEFAULTVALUE expands the range, legal or comment legal definitions of 
a field. If DEFAULTVALUE 9 is part of a field block then the value 9 is 
allowed to be entered even if e.g. RANGE 1-5 is also defined. Field 
block specification overrules a general definition in a BEFORE FILE or 

DEFAULTVALUEs will be exported as part of the any COMMENT LEGAL 
definitions for the field in question.

The category text assigned will be “Default”.

*NOTE: The value assignment only takes place in new records. Not in 
already entered records.*

/ /


(in before file block):

DEFAULTVALUE ALL 9 fills all numerical and string fields with 9

DEFAULTVALUE ALL “No info” ALLstrings fills all string fields with “No 

(in a field block):

DEFAULTVALUE 2001 assigns the value 2001 as default.

(in a string field):

DEFAULTVALUE “No Information” assigns the value “No Information” as default.

Jens Lauritsen
EpiData Association
ps. The revising of the website is almost done (a few pages are left).

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