Change Default Options in SPSS – Decimal Places, Font Point Size, Gridlines, Etc.

How to Edit Several Default Options Available in SPSS is Illustrated.

Video Transcript: In this tutorial we’re going to examine how to modify a few options in SPSS. And the first one I’d like to look at here is how to change the font. And the way you can change the font, one way, is to go to View on the Menu Bar and then go to Fonts. And there’s a lot of options here as you can see, a lot of different fonts, four styles, and many different point sizes. Let’s say we want to change it to 14 italic. OK so let’s look at that. There’s an example of that, 14 italic. I’m going to undo that, so I’ll go back to Fonts, under View, and change that back to regular, 12. And there’s other ways to do as well, we could right click on the mouse and we get Grid Font, and that opens up to the same dialog box, that’s another way to alter the font. Something else you can do, if you don’t like the grid lines with all this all the rectangles showing the cells, you can go to View, and see where it says Gridlines here, you can uncheck that, and then they’re removed. I’m going to put that back on now. Here we have a categorical variable, play golf, and I can turn on the value labels that I’ve already coded in previously. And if I click on this button here, that turns on the value labels. But say that I would like my value labels to always display when I first open my dataset. If I want that to happen I can go to View, and then I can go to value labels and check that, and then not only do the display now, but if I opened a new data set or this data set later, they would display by default. OK so that’s how you do that. I’m going to turn that off, but if you want your value labels always to display, once again, just keep that checked. OK, something else. Often when I analyze continuous variables, I’ll use the default option in SPSS, which has these continuous variables to two decimal places to the right of the decimal. So, for example, typically they are they’re going to look like this. In most situations I leave them like that. Now you may not like that, so you could do the opposite of what you just saw me do. You can go to Variable View and dial this down for your variable, satisfaction, under decimals, you could dial this down to zero. OK that’s one way and then go back to Data View and you see it’s removed now. Or what you could do, if you want all future variables, all future continuous variables to always display just in whole number format, then what you can do is you can go to Edit, and then go down to the bottom under Options, and here there are actually a lot of different options you can modify. But for this tutorial we’re just going to look at this one, under the Data tab. The default is that the decimal places is 2, right here under Display Format for New Numeric Variables. OK the default is two. And you can see the example here, .67, so two decimal places. If you would rather have no decimal places displayed, then dial this down to zero, click Apply, and then OK. And we don’t worry about the Viewer window opening, it’s just confirming that it applied there I’ll close that. And then when you create new variables, the variables will be displayed as whole numbers only. So, for example, if I type in 21.12, you can see what happens here when I press the Enter key. I get 21. Let’s do another one. 12.1, I get 12. It’s been rounded. 13.55 should be 14, and so on. Now this is just what’s being displayed to the user, what we see as we’re analyzing data here. But it’s important to note that behind-the-scenes SPSS retains the exact value. So notice here when we put in 21.12, it displayed 21, the whole number, but it actually contains 21.12 in the data file. So when I’m analyzing my data, I’m going to have accurate results, it’s not going round everything and then say, for example, calculate a mean on the rounded values. It will calculate a mean on the precise values. So that’s important to note. That we don’t lose accuracy in our data just because we do this, we’re just modifying what we see. I typically don’t like to have my values displayed as whole numbers, I like to keep them in their original form. So I’m going to go back to Options and dial this back up to two, and then apply that, And then finally I’m going to go to Variable View and bring this back up to 2, and look at Data View and can see that I have my two zeros to the right of the decimal again. Once again this is just cosmetic, it’s just what you prefer. Behind-the-scenes, SPSS keeps the original value in its complete form. This completes the tutorial on modifying some of the default options in SPSS.

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