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Date:         Thu, 29 Oct 2009 08:33:44 -0600
Reply-To:     Jon K Peck <>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Jon K Peck <>
Subject:      Re: Check whether 9 string variables are identical over some 70
Comments: To: Ruben van den Berg <>
In-Reply-To:  <SNT110-W36F0228472C9202347FA25FAB70@phx.gbl>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

The easiest way to get a table of variable labels across files would be to use the GATHERMD extension command. You give it a file specification, and it reads all the files and collects variable names and labels. (The original motivation was to catalog a lot of datasets). From that, you could just do FREQUENCIES on the label column after filtering by the set of variable names of interest.

This extension command will work with V17 or 18 and probably works with V16, too. Of course it requires the Python plugin and the extension command, both of which can be downloaded from SPSS Developer Central,


Jon Peck SPSS, an IBM Company 312-651-3435

From: Ruben van den Berg <> To: SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Date: 10/29/2009 08:18 AM Subject: [SPSSX-L] Check whether 9 string variables are identical over some 70 "respondents" Sent by: "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>

Dear all,

I merged 9 data files with ADD FILES. However, to make sure that the variable labels are identical over the 9 files, I made a table with a single column of variable names and the corresponding variable labels for each of the 9 files (so 10 string variables in total). Since the original files had a set of some 70 variables in common, my 'variable label table' has some 70 lines. Ideally, all variable labels should be identical but on visual inspection I've already spotted some slight differences.

What I was thinking about, is to count the number of different values within 'respondents' over my 9 string variables in order to identify those variables for which labels differ between files. I thought about FLIPping the data and using OMS and FREQUENCIES but I think FLIP doesn't work with strings.

Does anybody have an idea whether/how this is possible? I've Python installed but virtually no experience with it.

Thanks a lot!

Ruben van den Berg

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