SDA 4.1 Documentation for DESCRIBE


describe - View the description of a variable


describe -b filename


DESCRIBE displays the text, labels, and a frequency distribution for a variable (provided there are no more than 256 distinct category values). When a frequency distribution is displayed, each category is displayed with a horizontal bar to show the relative size of the percent of cases falling into each category. Output from the program is in HTML, which can be viewed with a Web browser.

Ordinarily this program is invoked by the SDA user interface to VIEW a selected variable, and the user does not have to deal with the keywords given in this document. However, it is possible to run the program in batch mode independently of the new interface.

Meaning of the option flag:

-b filename
The name of the batch command file is specified to the program after the `-b' option flag.


The batch command file contains specifications for the analysis. These specifications are given in the form "keyword = something" with one keyword per line. Keywords may be given in any order, either in upper or in lower case. The valid keywords are as follows (with significant characters shown in capital letters):

Keyword       Possible Specification          Default (if no keyword)

STUdy=        path of dataset directory       Look for variables only in
                                                current directory

VAR=          variable name                   REQUIRED

GVARCase=     LOWER or UPPER                  Do not convert the variable
                                                name to lower/upper case

SAvefile=     filename to receive output      Output sent to screen
               (overwrite existing file)       (standard output)

LAnguagefile= Name of file with non-English   English labels on
                labels and messages             output


Basic example

The SDA dataset is in the directory '/sa/sdatest'. The results will overwrite the file named after the `savefile=' keyword, if the file already exists.

     study = /sa/sdatest
     var = spend
     savefile = myfrequencies.htm

CSM, UC Berkeley/ISA
March 18, 2019