Duration: 2 days


This SPSS Syntax Introduction course targets those who wish to gain an understanding of the basic structure of SPSS Syntax.

The course provides users of SPSS with the essential skills and knowledge required to begin to become effective and productive users of SPSS Syntax.

By the end of our course you will have learned to:

Open up SPSS files using syntax

Define variables using syntax

Create Compute and Recode variables

Prepare Data for Analysis

Import Data From Excel

Create simple IF statements.


Experience of working in the Windows environment and a general understanding of key Windows features. Attendees should also have basic familiarity with SPSS procedures including variable definition, entering and editing data, opening and saving data files, compute and recode procedures, dealing with output and saving output.


1 - Introduction

  • The Journal – What is it?
  • How To Set The Journal.
  • The Log – What is it?
  • How To Set Log Options.
  • Syntax Files
  • The Syntax Editor
  • Writing Syntax Using The Log

2 - Syntax For Data Entry

  • Raw Data Entry
  • Importing From Excel
  • Opening A SPSS .sav File
  • Saving Data with Syntax.
  • Adding Comments

3 - Preparing Data

  • Renaming Variables
  • Labelling Variables
  • Creating Value Labels
  • Missing Values
  • Checking Datafile Layout and Variable Content

4 - Amending The Datafile

  • Extracting To A Smaller Datafile
  • Adding New Variables
  • Sorting Cases
  • Adding New Cases
  • Changing Variable Format

5 - Using String Variables

  • Converting Numeric Values To Text
  • Recoding Variables
  • Converting Categorical Text to Numeric
  • Changing The Case Of Text
  • If Statements
  • Computing New Values

6 - Using Date And Time Variables

  • Setting Date Time Formats
  • Extracting Date Elements
  • Calculations With Dates

7 - Using Numeric Variables

  • Deleting Variables
  • Computing New Values
  • Creating Categories For Numeric Values
  • Counting Data Values

8 - Data Exploration

  • Frequencies
  • Crosstabs
  • Explore
  • Examine Distribution

9 - Sub-sections Of Data

  • Selecting Parts Of Your Data
  • Splitting The Datafile
  • Temporary Command
  • Select IF Command