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Date:   Sat, 12 Nov 2011 06:31:26 +0100
Reply-To:   John F Hall <>
Sender:   "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:   John F Hall <>
Subject:   Re: v19 -opening files via windows explorer
Comments:   To: "Parise, Carol A." <>
In-Reply-To:   <>
Content-Type:   multipart/alternative;


SPSS always needs an open working file, even if it's an empty one. I always open *.sav files by double-clicking them. This never opens a blank data editor, but (with very few exceptions) I invariably work in syntax in preference to the GUI and have SPSS set always to open a blank syntax file on startup. The working file then has a * before the data editor name. The advantage of this is that the data editor is subsequently always saved to the same folder as the original.

If I open SPSS by clicking on the shortcut icon and then click Cancel, I get a blank syntax file and a blank data editor, but I only ever do this in tutorials to demonstrate how SPSS works. The only exception would be if I was reading in raw data with DATA LIST or copying data from another source (eg Excel, or from a query on the list).

I've just followed your procedure and opened SPSS file by double-clicking an existing *.sps file: this opens a second, blank, syntax editor and a blank data editor. I then opened an existing *.sav file by double-clicking and closed the blank data editor. As you say, the blank syntax editor disappears, but I would never use SPSS like this anyway as I always start by double-clicking an existing *.sav file.

This isn't a problem since, if I want a new syntax editor, and provided I have an open data editor, all I have to do is click on File > New > Syntax in the GUI. If I modify the working file I always save it with a different name using File > Save as ..(quicker in GUI than syntax, and the SAVE OUT syntax is automatically created in the output viewer).

Does this answer your question?

John F Hall



From: SPSSX(r) Discussion [mailto:SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Parise, Carol A. Sent: 12 November 2011 01:04 To: SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Subject: v19 -opening files via windows explorer

I'm old school and use Windows Explorer to open and close files.

When I open up a .sps file, a new, empty .sav file automatically opens up.

When i close the empty data file, the syntax file automatically closes.

I pull up the data file that i want to use and close the empty data file, the syntax file also closes.

The only way I can not have this empty data file open is to go through the SPSS menus to open up.

I've searched through every Edit-Options tab and have not found a way to "unlink" my syntax file to an empty data file.

Does anyone know how to accomplish this?

Sorry if this is so 2010.


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