SPSS offers a number of features to accommodate it to the needs of users.

The menu system

A number of features can be addressed only via the menu system; click on "edit/Bearbeiten" and then on "options/Optionen". Here, you may do such things a change the way the syntax file looks, indicate where to look for or to save files by default, and much else, such as the language SPSS uses (I have only checked the German language, where the "translator" has done an awful job particularly concerning statistical detail of the output; you may wish to switch to the English original where many things are much more comprehensible.)

The SET command

A number of different features may also be changed via the SET command. One I have found particularly useful is the decimal separator.


In the German version, SPSS uses commas to separate decimals. Now, for certain purposes you may have to write 'raw data' files that can be read by other software. This software may expect decimals to be separated by a dot.


will NOT change the appearance of the decimal separator in your data window, but it will use dots as a separator when, for instance, writing an ASCII file with the SAVE TRANSLATE command.

© W. Ludwig-Mayerhofer, IGSW | Last update: 15 Sept 2009