SPSS tutorials website header logo

SPSS tutorials


Compare Dictionaries over Files Before Merging


Merging data with ADD FILES can result in nonsensical data. This occurs when variables or values have different meanings over files. By comparing dictionaries over files, inconsistently coded variables are quickly detected.

So What's the Problem?

When files are merged with ADD FILES, inconsistent dictionary information is discarded. This will happen, for example, if a variable v1 means "gender" in one file and "employment status" in another. In this case, values indicating gender will seem to indicate employment status or vice versa. For a demonstration, see SPSS Add Files - Cautionary Note.

So What's the Solution?

SPSS Compare Dictionaries ToolSPSS Compare Dictionaries Tool

Explanation of the Dictionary Overview

SPSS Compare Dictionaries Tool Result SPSS Compare Dictionaries Tool Result

Notes on the Syntax File

Previous tutorial: SPSS Extension Bundles

Next tutorial: Read and Merge Multiple Sheet Excel Workbooks

Let me know what you think!

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

This tutorial has 12 comments