Course Overview

Syntax is the command language that gives instructions to SPSS Statistics on how to modify, manage, and analyze your data. Syntax programs can be used to automate repetitive tasks and perform additional options that are not available in the dialog boxes. You will learn the rules of SPSS syntax, how to generate syntax from the dialog boxes, modify and optimize its use. The approach of the course will be that the dialog boxes and syntax are complementary.

Who Should Attend

This intermediate course is for:
  • Those who want to learn the basic skills of SPSS Statistics syntax for use in repetitive production tasks.
  • Those who are responsible for using and maintaining SPSS syntax jobs developed by others.


You should have:
  • On the job experience running SPSS Statistics using the graphical user interface (dialog boxes) or completion of the Introduction to SPSS Statistics course.
  • Familiarity with basic SPSS operations for reading and saving data, variable definition, compute and recode data transformations, frequencies and crosstabs, editing and saving results.

Course Content

  • Why Syntax?
  • Working with Syntax
    • Generating Syntax from the GUI
    • The Syntax Editor
    • Managing Syntax (e.g., log syntax in the Viewer and/or a journal file; Insert syntax from file)
  • Syntax for Reading and Saving Data (e.g. for reading and saving SPSS Statistics data files, ExcelTM files, text files)
  • Syntax for Defining Variables (e.g. variable and value labels, missing values)
  • Syntax for Selecting Cases (e.g. filtering cases, copying selected to new dataset)
  • Syntax for Transformations (e.g. Compute, Visual Binning, Recode)