In this unit we will discuss some general issues regarding the use of SPSS.
Keeping SPSS up-to-date is important for many reasons. When we say "up-to-date", we don't necessarily mean having the latest version of SPSS. Rather, SPSS issues patches for each version of the software to fix bugs and other problems, and you want to make sure that you have all of the patches. Before looking for patches, you will want to know what version of the software you have. To do this, you can run the command show version via syntax, or you can click on Help and then About and look for the release number. To check for patches, you can click on Help and then Check for Updates and then follow the directions. Please note that this process does NOT allow you to update from one version to the next of SPSS. For example, you cannot "update" from SPSS version 16 to SPSS version 17 this way. Rather, you can update from SPSS version 16.0.0 to version 16.0.2. If you would like to see information on the current version of SPSS, please visit Software Purchasing and Updating and scroll down to the section on SPSS.
You can click on Help from any of the SPSS windows to see a list of the online help options for SPSS. Some of the options will take you to the SPSS website, while others will take you to help files contained within SPSS. To find out more about the syntax for SPSS commands, click on Help and then Command Syntax Reference.
Sometimes it is necessary to stop a procedure before it is completed. To do this, click on File and then Stop Processor.
Sometimes, a window "goes missing". To "find" the "missing" window, click on Window at the top of the SPSS Data Editor, and then select the window that you want to see.
SPSS comes with many data sets that you can use to practice
procedures that are new to you. These files are located in slightly
different places depending on which version of SPSS you are using. If you
are using SPSS version 17 and installed it in the default directory, the files
You can manage the SPSS Output Management System (OMS) by clicking on Utilities and then OMS Control Panel.
SPSS is not case sensitive. In other words, you can type your commands, variable names, etc., in all capital letters, all lower case letters, or any combination of upper and lower case. In the SPSS syntax guide and in pasted syntax, SPSS commands and keywords are printed in capital letters so that it is clear which are SPSS commands and keywords, and which are variable names.
If you are a UCLA faculty or staff member, the current version of SPSS can be purchased from Software Central. If you are a student, the current version of SPSS can be purchased from UCLA Computer Store.
A list of programs available from Software Central is available from http://www.softwarecentral.ucla.edu/product_list.htm.
Using SPSS in a computer lab on campus
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