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SPSS Frequently Asked Questions

The following information has been compiled as a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for the University of Georgia Department of Psychology. This FAQ is meant to assist our faculty, staff, and students with up to date information about SPSS V.16 and above. All information held herein represents problems that are broad to the entire user base of SPSS, and problems which have been more idiosyncratic to members of our department.

Newsgroups & Forums

General SPSS websites (with examples and annotated output):

Syntax and Example Programs:

General Statistics (Not SPSS) Websites

Some common problems with SPSS that have occurred in our department

There are problems associated with accessing, editing, and writing to files on a shared network drive.

You should avoid working with SPSS files that are stored on a shared network drive. To avoid problems associated with lost network files then please save a temporary copy of the SPSS file on your home computer, manipulate and save it, and then replace the old file on the network.

There is trouble with viewing SPSS output.

You should download the SPSS output viewer. This problem occurs because you are trying to open older SPSS output files with a newer version of SPSS.

There are problems with printing output with SPSS v.16.

These printing and formatting problems have been resolved in the updated version of SPSS v16.1.

SPSS v.16 runs extraordinarily slow.

SPSS claims to have fixed this problem with the new patch. I still find SPSS to run slower than it did in previous versions but at least it is manageable now. I am still trying to find ways to improve the speed of the software. For example, having multiple versions of SPSS installed on a computer slows down the newest version. You should only have one version installed at a time.

For more in depth consultation feel free to contact me at I will be able to provide help with SPSS issues as well as other statistical problems that you may have encountered. I have other beginner’s books and manuals which may be of assistance to you. Also, please send me suggestions for making this FAQ easier to read and more comprehensive.

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