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Date:         Fri, 23 Sep 2005 22:37:40 -0400
Reply-To:     Richard Ristow <>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Richard Ristow <>
Subject:      Re: selecting first case in a group of student records
Comments: To: "S.P." <splou048@UOTTAWA.CA>
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

At 10:19 AM 9/23/2005, S.P. wrote:

>I have a big data file with student records from various classes and >schools. I am trying to create a file with only one record per class >which will give me the teacher information for that class. > >The unique identifier for each teacher-classroom combination is >constructed of the following two variables : idteach idlink

So, if I'm following you so far, you want one record for each combination of IDTEACH and IDLINK found in your file:

>For example : I sometimes have for idteach = 28288, two groups of >students, IDLINK = 2 and IDLINK = 3. I would need to keep only the >first record with identical IDTEACH and IDLINK vars.

That is, again if I'm following you, want . The first record where IDTECH=28288 and IDLINK=2 and . The first record where IDTECH=28288 and IDLINK=3

So far, so good.

>I found this syntax on another web site and...I simply can't get it to >work!! [It] works fine if the file does not contain different IDLINK >[values] for one IDTEACH [value]: > >[From the other web site:] >* To delete records with identical var1, var2 and var3. >SORT CASES BY var1 var2 var3. >ADD FILES FILE=* /BY var1 var2 var3 /FIRST=first. >SELECT IF first. > >MY syntax [modified from the above]: >SORT CASES BY IDTEACH IDLINK. >ADD FILES FILE= 'C:\temp\datafile.sav' /*!!!!*/ > /BY IDTEACH IDLINK /FIRST=first. >SELECT IF first.

The ADD FILES command is your problem. Your ADD FILES reads 'C:\temp\datafile.sav', replacing your working file. The sorting lost; that was done in the work file.

If 'C:\temp\datafile.sav' is the file you want to work from, and it isn't already sorted, you need it sorted as your working file:

GET FILE='C:\temp\datafile.sav'. /* 1. */ SORT CASES BY IDTEACH IDLINK. ADD FILES FILE= * /* 2. */ /BY IDTEACH IDLINK /FIRST=first. SELECT IF first.

Two changes: 1. Read 'C:\temp\datafile.sav' and sort it. Don't sort sort your working file, throw away the sorting, and load 'C:\temp\datafile.sav'. 2. ADD FILES from the working file, which is sorted, rather than from your disk file, which, it sounds like, is not.

Good luck! Richard Ristow

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