# SPSS define variables in Variable View

This SPSS tutorial explains how to define variables in Variable View.

You may also want to read:

Types of data in statistics (Interval, Nominal, Ordinal)

## SPSS – Variable View

In SPSS, understanding the Variable View is the first step before using any analytic functions. The purpose of Variable View is to define variables.

In Excel, you don’t have to define whether a column is number, date, or text, because Excel guesses the data type for you but of course it could be wrong in some cases. However, you still need to do the Cell formatting such as how many decimal places to display or add the dollar sign. In SPSS, these can be done in Variable View (it is very similar to Design View of Microsoft Access).

## Define Variables in Variable View

 Attribute Explanation Name A unique field name without space, the first character must be a letter Type Numeric: Number in standard format or in scientific notation Comma: Format a number with thousands separator using comma Dot: Format a number with thousands separator using dot Scientific notation: Format a number with E or D Date: Format a number in Date or times tamp format Dollar: Format a number with \$ Custom currency: Format a number in custom currency defined in currency tab String: Text, can be number, letter, or a mix of both Restricted Numeric (integer with leading zeros): Pad a positive integer with leading zero Width Length of integer / string Decimals Number of decimal places Label Description of the field to display in output Values Define a number to represent a label, the Data View uses number as input but using label in output report Missing Define what values are deemed as missing to exclude in analysis Columns The column width in Data View Align Left, Right or Center Measure Scale: number Nominal: text Ordinal: text with order Role Input: Independent Variable Target: Dependent Variable Both: Dependent and Independent Variable None: No role Partition: The variable will partition the data into separate samples Split: Only applicable for SPSS Modeler

## Outbound References

http://libguides.library.kent.edu/SPSS/DefineVariables