[EpiData-list] EpiData Entry: issue with numeric fields and legal values

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Tue Aug 1 11:07:04 CDT 2006

Dear all,

I have a problem with numeric fields of more than one digit in length,
e.g. ##.
All legal values (and their value labels) for the variables in my
questionnaire are precoded in the CHK file. Currently, if a legal value
is defined as "1", the data entry program does not accept "01" and vv:
if a legal value is defined as "01" the data entry program does not
accept "1".
The typists usually type without looking the whole time at the screen so
they prefer the legal values to be precoded 01, 02, 03 etc because if
they enter "1" they would need to press ENTER before the cursor moves to
the next field (which they do not need to do if the length of the field
is one digit). 
Precoding "01" etc initially seemed to work fine, but as soon as the
record is saved, when the typist needs to return to the same record,
e.g. to make a correction, the value "01" is reflected as "1" on the
screen, and when passing through this field again, e.g. to move to a
part that is further down in the questionnaire, an error message pops
up: "illegal entry", and the typists believe they should change the "1"
again into "01". This is at times quite a bit of a nuisance. 
I think that one possible solution (I have not tried this yet) could be
to define for all digits under 10 both "1", "2", "3" as well as "01",
"02", etc as legal values (with the same value labels), but I think it
is not very elegant. Is there another solution?

PS. is there a command that can used in the CHK file to that after every
entry the typist needs to press enter before the cursor moves to the
next field? 

Thanks a lot,

Dr Henrica A.F.M. (Henriette) Jansen
WHO Multi-country Study Violence against Women
Department of Gender, Women and Health

Tel direct: +41 22 791 3106
Fax direct: +41 22 791 1585
Mobile: +41 78 730 3035
E-mail: jansenh at who.int
Website: http://www.who.int/gender/violence/multicountry/en/

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