SPSS TUTORIALS BASICS ANOVA REGRESSION FACTOR CORRELATION

# Escape Sequence (General Concept)

## Introduction

An escape sequence is a combination of characters that has a special meaning.

## Escape Sequences in General

• Some characters imply a special function rather than their "normal" meaning. For example, `'` often implies the start or the end of a string.
• But what if you actually mean `'` rather than a string? In that case you can escape its default meaning by prefixing it, often with a backslash (as in `\'`).
• Reversely, `\n` usually implies a new line indicator. In this case, the backslash escapes the default meaning of `n` (which is simply `n`).
• Escape sequences thus work in two ways: they may apply a special function to a character that doesn't have one by default as in the case of (`\n`) or they may disable a special function from a character that has one by default (`\'`).

## Escape Sequences in SPSS

• In SPSS, quotes can be escaped by doubling them. This may be necessary when value labels or variable labels contain quotes as in `ADD VALUE LABELS v1 1 'Don''t know'.`.
• If the second quote hadn't been doubled, it would have indicated the end of the value label immediately after "Don".
• An alternative here is to use double quotes around the value label and single quotes within it as in `ADD VALUE LABELS v1 1 "Don't know".`.

## Escaping in Python

• In Python, escape sequences are indicated by a backslash (`\`).
• The most important one may be `\n` which indicates a new line. Like so, multiple logical lines can be stacked into a single physical line.
• Another escape sequence worth mentioning is `\'` for a single quote within a string.
• A backslash also escapes itself so if it's really a backslash you want, double it as in `\\`.
• For a demonstration of these point, run the syntax below.

## Python Escape Sequence Examples

begin program.
print 'line 1\nline 2\nline 3'
print 'This is a backslash: \\'
print 'Don\'t worry be happy!'
end program.

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