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Can I load an Excel spreadsheet into SPSS?

Yes, as long as the file is saved as an Excel 95 or later version.  Ensure that you have the field titles, i.e. variable names, in row 1 at the top of each column of data, and that row 2 in the sheet always contains a value. Column headings should all be unique and not start with a number. Names longer than 8 characters (and such names as ALL, AND, BY, EQ, GE, GT, LE, LT, NE, NOT, OR, TO which are not acceptable to SPSS) will be shortened or changed by SPSS during the conversion.

To open your Excel file in SPSS:

  1. File, Open, Data, from the SPSS menu.
  2. Select type of file you want to open,Excel *.xls *.xlsx, *.xlsm .
  3. Select file name.
  4. Click 'Read variable names'  if the first row of the spreadsheat contains column headings.
  5. Click Open.

If the data you want to read does not start in the first row of the spreadsheet, enter the cell range in the Opening File Options dialog box.

If the data you want to read is not on the first sheet of the file, select the sheet you want to read.

If all of your data is string data, you probably tried to read the first row as data when it really contains headings.

The most common reason for failure is submitting Excel data sheets which are too complicated, for example containing TWO rows of field titles instead of one, or which include subtotals, charts or other material. SPSS will only read a rectangular array of data (with an optional ONE row of field titles at the top).

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This is question number 254, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Jason Bailey on 27 July 2001 and last updated by Paul Ryan on 8 September 2016