MacWorld SPSS 16.0 Review

I hope this review encourages more SPSS fans to overcome the fear of making the leap to Mac. I took the precaution of installing both versions (PC and Mac) on my MacBook Pro since I have ready access to both versions, but honestly I never use SPSS on the PC partition. I systematically avoid the PC partition unless I absolutely must, which usually means I am using Clementine. 

11 comments on “MacWorld SPSS 16.0 Review

  1. Veronica on said:

    I found your blog via a comment on another user’s blog. You said you didn’t understand the copy-paste issue, so here is my attempt to address it.

    Let’s say that I have my data in an excel spreadsheet. Say it contains names, age, gender, handedness, and scores on tests 1-5. It’s a huge spreadsheet and I only want to use a portion of the data.

    I set up my SPSS variables for age, gender, and scores on tests 2-3 (5 columns total). I go back to my Excel spreadsheet (9 columns total) and I copy, say, the two columns that contain the data for tests 2 and 3. I click over to SPSS and paste my data into the “Test Score 2″ and “Test Score 3″ columns.

    In previous versions of SPSS and in most database programs (and for that matter, word processing programs) I have used, the pasted data would appear exactly as they did on the Excel spreadsheet: two columns, n rows long, where n=the number of participants. HOWEVER, on SPSS 16.0.x for Macintosh, the data are instead posted in a single row that is 2xn cells long. It does not maintain formatting.

    In other words, copy and paste is functionally worthless. I can only copy rows, not columns. I need to open the XLS file with SPSS and manipulate the rows in there, which is more time consuming than simply pasting the data I want into a prepared sheet. I have no idea how these idiots could ship a product that doesn’t do something as basic as copy-paste, but then again, I’m only a scientist. I’m not a quality control monkey.

    Make sense now?

  2. I will do some experiments and make a post. In the meantime you all may want to visit the sites in my new March 19th post.

  3. OK. I frequently run into all kinds of trouble when trying to do certain software operations, including the software that I use everyday. SPSS is no exception. I encounter bugs, and scream at the computer – don’t we all?

    However, in this case. I just can’t replicate the problem.

    I am using Mac OS X. SPSS Mac 16.0. Mac’s Numbers. And Excel on Windows XP. When I open a small SPSS file – it has 4 columns and about 250 rows, and highlight just the headers, I copy it to the clipboard. Then I open Numbers and highlight just the upper left hand corner, it pastes just fine. All the data, and the same formatting.

    Then I launch Paralells, and start Excel. I repeat the step and it works just fine.

    The only thing I can think of is that Excel for the Mac might not work the same, but I can’t confirm that because I don’t own it.

    I don’t know if this is bad news or good news. It works fine, but we don’t know what happened on another computer to go wrong. A mystery.

    I will try to make another post soon, that looks into copying and pasting objects like pivot tables. I expect it will be more complicated.

  4. Mark on said:

    have you tried copying from excel into spss? there seems to be a problem with spss 16 (mac version) where it doesn’t recognize the end of line character from excel 2004 (mac version) and doesn’t paste the data appropriately. copying data in spss and pasting it into excel is not a problem.

    any thoughts?

  5. Ebone Brown on said:

    I purchased the windows version of SPSS 16.0 at my school’s library. I was informed that there is a Mac OS X version of the software, but it’s $200 and I only paid $125 for the book and the software. I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has used the Windows version of SPSS on their mac using parallels or VMware? I’m trying to find the best soultion. Can anyone help me?

  6. Richard on said:

    I too have have a problem copying data from excel into SPSS 16.0. I found a temporary solution, albeit cumbersome. My excel spreadsheet is set up with columns being the different groups, and rows being individual data points. Within excel I select all the cells I need and copy and paste special (selecting transform) just below the original cells. I then open text edit and C&P the transformed cells into a new text file, using the RichText format. Then I select all (apple-a) and C&P into SPSS. I now get all my cells. What a pain, but if you have a ton of data entries, it’s better than nothing.

  7. I followed Richard’s recommendation (copy to textEdit and C&P to SPSS). It works but with only one column at a time. What a pain!

  8. I tried copying data in excel, and using the “paste special” feature to paste only the values, (not the formulas) into a new sheet. Then copied the values from the new sheet into SPSS. And it worked…

  9. Having totally the same problem! Such a nightmare as I have huge data files. The previous SPSS didn’t have this compatibility issue. I’ve tried the copy, paste special idea but for me the result is still this one continuous row of data instead of columns. If anyone’s worked anything else out to try I’m all ears.

  10. Marwan on said:

    I have the same problem. What i did was open the excel file in SPSS form and then copied the values from the SPSS form into the original SPSS document i was working on. To do this go to open, then select Data, then change the file type to Excel.

  11. Rocio on said:

    Thanks for the tip, it’s working for me. And I’m upgrading to SPSS 17.0, where this issue has been fixed.

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