[EpiData-list] Problem with underscore character in variable name

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Sun Oct 19 07:59:43 CDT 2008

While an underscore in variable names is a convention in many 
applications, it is a bit dangerous in EpiData .rec files because it is 
possible to create a .qes from a .rec.
That .qes will have an underscore that will be interpreted as a new 
string field of length one. This is the case even now, since the 
underscore will appear in the 'first word' position on a line.

I suggest reserving underscore for temporary variables that will not be 


Annemieke wrote:
> According to the documentation, an underscore character is allowed in
> variable names.  And, indeed, I have no problem defining new variable names
> with an underscore and using them in analysis (v2.1.0.151).  However, when
> the data have been saved and one opens the file for further analysis, the
> variable has been renamed v1 (or v2, etc).  In addition, the original
> variable name containing the underscore is put into the variable label.
> For example, I created a variable abc_test.  After saving the data and
> opening the file, I find that the variable now has the name v1 and the label
> "abc_test  abc-test".

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