LISTSERV at the University of Georgia
Menubar Imagemap
Home Browse Manage Request Manuals Register
Previous messageNext messagePrevious in topicNext in topicPrevious by same authorNext by same authorPrevious page (December 2011)Back to main SPSSX-L pageJoin or leave SPSSX-L (or change settings)ReplyPost a new messageSearchProportional fontNon-proportional font
Date:         Thu, 1 Dec 2011 11:41:43 -0700
Reply-To:     Jon K Peck <>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Jon K Peck <>
Subject:      Re: String length changes when saving
Comments: To: J Otterstedt <jotterst@UOREGON.EDU>
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

The string length is probably not changing when you save the data but when you read it in. This will happen if you open a code page sav file and you are in Unicode mode in Statistics. This is necessary in order to guarantee that no string data are lost when the code page characters are converted to Unicode, because in the worst case, a one-byte character in code page takes three bytes in Unicode.

Usually, though, this is far too conservative. In fact, if your data only contain plain roman characters, you don't actually need any extra space. If you want to reclaim the extra space, you can use the ALTER TYPE command to shrink the fields down to the minimum required to hold your actual text. This can be done if you open a dataset interactively by checking the Minimize string widths box on the Open dialog.

Once you save the data file in Unicode mode, no further string expansion will occur.


Jon Peck (no "h") aka Kim Senior Software Engineer, IBM new phone: 720-342-5621

From: J Otterstedt <jotterst@UOREGON.EDU> To: Date: 12/01/2011 11:22 AM Subject: [SPSSX-L] String length changes when saving Sent by: "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <>

A colleague and I both have experienced this problem. When saving data files, string variables' length changes to three times what it was originally designated to be. Why? How can we prevent this?

We use SPSS 19 on a Mac.


-- View this message in context:

Sent from the SPSSX Discussion mailing list archive at

===================== To manage your subscription to SPSSX-L, send a message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU (not to SPSSX-L), with no body text except the command. To leave the list, send the command SIGNOFF SPSSX-L For a list of commands to manage subscriptions, send the command INFO REFCARD


Back to: Top of message | Previous page | Main SPSSX-L page