Using SPSS and PASW/Starting SPSS

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SPSS Basics[edit]

Starting SPSS[edit]

Click the Start button, Programs, the relevant software group, and click on the SPSS 17 icon (we have not yet standardised on the new name for the software). The initial SPSS screen should appear, showing the Data Editor window, with the Data View window on top, and a tab at the foot of the screen giving access to the Variable View window. This is superimposed by a smaller window headed SPSS for Windows which you can temporarily discard by clicking on the Cancel button. You can switch between Data View and Variable View by clicking the appropriate tab.

Getting help[edit]

You can obtain help on SPSS at any time during your SPSS session. Features such as being able to search for specific topics are included. To access the online help system, click on the Help menu and Topics to display the following window:

The Contents panel contains a list of broad topics, represented by icons of books. Double-clicking on any book will expand the contents. Selecting any one of these topics by double-clicking will provide you with the information in that topic.

If you know exactly what you want, or you wish to refer to a statistical term or a specific piece of jargon, you may prefer to use the Index tab. An alphabetic list of terms and topics will appear, and you can enter a term to search for. If too many similar topics are shown, use the vertical scroll bar to view the rest of the list, and double-click the topic you want.

Use Search to locate a Help topic. Within the Search box, enter a keyword that you would like to find help on. All Help topics that contain the keyword will be displayed, not just topics that begin with that word (as in the Index).

Quitting SPSS[edit]

Before we start looking at data organisation, it is important to know how to exit from SPSS. The process is similar to quitting from most other Windows applications:

Select File from the main SPSS menu bar, and then Exit.

SPSS will ask you if you want to save any unsaved files. At this point there should not be any need to save any work, but consult the relevant sections of this workbook on saving files if there are any open files.

Restart SPSS so that you can continue with the rest of this workbook.