SPSS Tips & Tricks

Last updated:
02 Mar 2005

SPSS Tips & Tricks

Importing & exporting different types of data files

Data files most spreadsheet programs can be automatically opened by SPSS and then saved as an SPSS data file

One of the most common examples is where somebody enters data into MS Excel and then opens and analyses the file in SPSS (e.g., try opening this file in SPSS: World95.xls)

Copying & Pasting SPSS Tables & Graphs to MS Word

You can copy SPSS output (tables and graphs) easily to MS Word.

In the SPSS Output Viewer:

  1. Select an output item (table or graph) by clicking on it once. (Double click will open the item for editing).  A red arrow to the left of the object indicates that the item is active.
  2. From the pull-down menus, choose Edit>Copy or Edit>Copy object.
    1. Alternatively, right click the mouse button to get a drop down menu with the same options.
    2. “Copy objects” treats the SPSS item as a pixels (i.e, a picture). It will look exactly as in the SPSS output, but you will not be able to edit the item in MS Word.  It is best for graphs.
    3. The “Copy” option will transfer the information in a table, which you can then edit uses the Tables menu in MS Word.  It is best for tables so that they can be edited into APA format in MS Word.
  3. Go to a document in MS Word and choose Edit>Paste or Ctrl+V. 
  4. If you have problems with the size or positioning of a picture (such as an SPSS object or graph) in MS Word, right click on the object and choose “Format Picture”.
  5. You can prevent a picture from floating with the text under the “Layout” tab. Choose “In line with text” as the wrapping style. The picture will now be fixed, and you can choose the exact point in the text where you want it to appear.

For more information see Section 7.3 in Francis (4th ed).