Creating Variables in SPSS 12.0

Posted on 2008-06-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-07-22
Hi All,

I'm not sure why this simple line of code JUST doesn't seem to work for me. I am trying to create variables in SPSS and assign types and labels for them and while attempting the following code

test1 (a8).

I keep getting the error:

">Error # 4385. Command name: DATA LIST
>More variables appeared in the variable list than formats were specified
>This command not executed."

I need to use syntax to build the variables, assign the types, give them a width, decimals, add labels, and values but if I can't even give them a type, I can't move forward.

Any help is very highly appreciated. Please, help!

I am new to SPSS and therefore a newbie. Any help would be very seriously appreciated here!
Question by:piyushdabomb
  • 3
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Reid Palmeira
ID: 21829638
typically with spss when you're not pulling the data from a file (or file=inline) you use a "begin data." and "end data." command to signal the software that you're entering the data set.

There's a decent introductory level tutorial for SPSS here: http://its.unm.edu/introductions/Spss_tutorial/session1.html

so in your case it would be something like:

DATA LIST FREE / var1 var 2
begin data.
test 1
test123 2
test1 (a8)
end data.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Reid Palmeira
ID: 21829663
sorry, typos in the above, didn't watch my spaces...simplified it a bit:

begin data.
end data.

Author Comment

ID: 21831219
Thank  you for your commend. Why would I need to use begin data and end data if I have no data?

I am trying to build an empty spreadsheet with variables, labels, and specifying each variable with a numeric/string value. It sounds somewhat awkward, but that is my motive behind this. I tried to process the following commands and still unsuccessful!

var2 (a8)
var4 (a4)
begin data.
end data.

I still get the same error. Any clues as to why this won't work?
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Reid Palmeira
ID: 21835169
ah. okay sorry i thought the test123 stuff was the data set you were trying to enter. so I'm going to steal a line from the link i posted here:

so after the / define the variable name, the columns and the data format (alpha or number). If you have four variables like ID, NAME, AGE, HEIGHT it might look like the command below. don't forget to use the / to indicate a new data line and the ; to end the line.

DATA LIST FREE / ID 1-5 NAME 7-14 (A) STATE 16-17 (A) HEIGHT 19-20;

then the

Accepted Solution

piyushdabomb earned 0 total points
ID: 21835342
It works, however it doesn't seem to work if I declare it with the following instead:

DATA LIST FREE / ID 1-5 NAME 7-14 STATE 16-17 (A) HEIGHT 19-20 (A);

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