Prettier graphs with less headache: use schemes in Stata

I'm picky about graphs looking nice. So for a long time I did silly things that drove me nuts, like typing "ylabel(, angle(horizontal))" for every single Stata graph I made (since some of the default settings in Stata are not pretty). I always knew that you could set a default scheme in stata to manage colors, but I didn't realize that it could do more or be customized. See here to learn more.

After a bit of playing around, I wrote my own scheme. The text file looks pitiful, I know. But it saves me lots of headache and makes each plot look nicer with zero marginal effort.  You can make your own, or if you download mine, put the file scheme-sol.scheme in ado/personal/ (where you put other ado files) and then type
set scheme sol
at the command line. Or set this as the default on your machine permanently with
set scheme sol, perm
It will make your plots that look kind of like this:


  1. Nice blog ;) I'd been wondering for a while how to avoid the default blue background in my graphs without having to write the specific option every single time. Thanks!