Using SPSS and PASW/Changing Preferences to Include Syntax in Output

The previous chapter mentioned Syntax and how it may be included in the Log of your Output Window.

Syntax usually refers to a language's rules of valid sentence and phrase formation but it is also what SPSS has chosen to name its user command language.

By default, SPSS logs into the Output Window the Syntax commands corresponding to its user's GUI commands, retaining a history of every command run. Note this is also an opportunity to be painlessly tutored in use of Syntax. (The utility of learning Syntax is explained on page Using SPSS and PASW/SPSS_syntax.)

If your Syntax logging is turned off and you want to turn it back on, the below shows how.

First, what basic analysis looks like without Syntax:

To tell SPSS to include Syntax in your Output Window, click “Edit” → “Options.”

Once you click Options, this window will pop up. Click the "Viewer" tab.

On the “Viewer” tab, check the box at the bottom left hand that says “Display commands in the log.”

Click “OK.”

Now run any analysis and the Output Window's Log will include the Syntax. This is illustrated below with a Frequencies analysis:

Chapter contributed by Christine Fernandez.