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How to open .SAV file.

Posted on 2015-01-14
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Last Modified: 2015-01-15
I have a set of .SAV files that a client has asked for me to open.  I am not knowledgeable of these type of files.  When I open the file in notepad I see the text "SPSS DATA FILE MS Windows 17.0.0".


I wanted to see if anyone has experience with these files.  If you know of a free viewer that I can use to open these files, I would greatly appreciate it.
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Question by:rye004
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40549356
Try the statistical software package from IBM:

http://www-01.ibm.com/software/analytics/spss/downloads.html

More info on other file types:
http://fileinfo.com/extension/sav 

I am hoping this is not a saved game you are trying to open :~)
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richdiesal earned 2000 total points
ID: 40549404
SPSS SAV files are datasets, similar to a single Excel worksheet, but with a lot of extra metadata.

Assuming you don't want to buy SPSS to open the file, you have relatively few options.  SAV is a proprietary format, so in the past, anyone that wanted to write a converted needed to license that ability from IBM (or rather from the company IBM bought SPSS from).  At this point, it is a little better.

The easiest, and cheapest way, to open the file would be to do so in R.  Here are some instructions: http://www.r-bloggers.com/how-to-open-an-spss-file-into-r/ - the critical part is the read.spss() function

You can also open SPSS files in a few other statistical programs, like Stata and SAS.  Here are some links to various conversions between these programs: http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/faq/convert_pkg.htm
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by:Gary Patterson
ID: 40549555
When you say you client wants you to "open" them, what does that mean?  As others have mentioned above, SPSS is a software package, and these SAV files are for use by the SPSS program.

Asking you to open them without the software they are designed to be used with is like asking you to "open" an SQL Server database file without installing SQL server.

Do they want you to extract/export some data?  If so, in what format?  If you can provide some more information about your specific goals, we might be able to provide more specific suggestions.

Note that IBM offers trial version of various SPSS tools that should be capable of opening these files.

Also, there is an open-source tool called PSPP that may be able to import these SPSS SAV files:

http://www.gnu.org/software/pspp/
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Author Closing Comment

by:rye004
ID: 40551742
Thank you for your quick help.
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