SPSS tutorials website header logo

SPSS tutorials


Command Syntax Reference


SPSS ships with a manual called "Command Syntax Reference" (or CSR). Whenever you don't know or understand something, this should usually be the first place to look.

SPSS Command Syntax Reference

SPSS comes with a syntax reference manual explaining all existing commands. This book (in .pdf format) is called the "Command Syntax Reference" and is mostly accessed from within SPSS (Help SPSS Menu Arrow Command Syntax Reference). Alternatively, it can be found in the SPSS installation folder (for instance C:\Program Files\IBM\SPSS\Statistics\20).

"If Everything Else Fails, RTFM"

The CSR may be less suitable for learning syntax from scratch. For this purpose, it's rather elaborate, detailed and technical. However, when you don't know or understand (something about) some command, it really is the first place to look. Some refer to this by "RTFM" (= Read The Fine Manual). The reason for this is that the CSR is very complete, accurate, and well structured.

How to Use the CSR?

SPSS Command Syntax Reference

All commands are listed alphabetically. If you know which command you need, it may be fastest to navigate to it by means of the bookmarks. One could either start reading at its start or expand the bookmark to find a more relevant starting point. Otherwise, one could navigate to the first page of the document and use CRTL + f to find some keyword or expression. Note that some very helpful information is also found under Universals, especially under Transformation Expressions.

Previous tutorial: SPSS CD Command

Next tutorial: Concatenate (General Concept)

Let me know what you think!

*Required field. Your comment will show up after approval from a moderator.

This tutorial has 2 comments