It's not informative that "a respondent has 0 on v1" unless you know what v1 and 0 refer to. Such information - what the data actually represent - is collectively know as the dictionary.
A great way to start working from syntax is using "Paste" instead of "Ok". However, there's no "Paste" option for modifying most variable properties. This tutorial shows how handle that properly.
Changing variable names in the Data Editor may render it hard to keep track of them. This problem is best avoided by using syntax for renaming them.
There are several ways to change a variable's type. This tutorial will walk you through some examples.
Changing a variable's width is rarely necessary. Nevertheless, it's good to know how when it's needed and how it's done.
Specifying missing values correctly is often an essential step in analyzing data. This tutorial discusses how to edit this and some other variable properties in a sound manner.
Managing variable and value labels in the Data Editor is a recipe for disaster. This tutorial explains how to do this more efficiently.