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In SPSS, how do I convert between numeric variables and string variables?

In SPSS, to convert a numeric variable to a string variable, use the STRING() function. Since the default variable type in SPSS is numeric, you need to define your string variable in advance. Consider the following example:

STRING str (A8). COMPUTE str = STRING(num, F2.0). EXECUTE.

In the example above, A8 indicates a string variable eight characters long, and F2.0 is the format of output values of variable num. For example, F8.4 fills four zeroes after the decimal point when the numeric variable num is an integer.

To convert a string variable to a numeric variable num, use the NUMBER() function, for example:

COMPUTE num = NUMBER(str, F8.2). EXECUTE.

If you have questions about using statistical and mathematical software at Indiana University, email UITS Research Analytics (formerly known as the Stat/Math Center). Research Analytics is located on the IU Bloomington campus at Woodburn Hall 200, and is open for consultation by appointment Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. For more, visit Research Analytics on the web, or call 812-855-4724 (IUB) or 317-278-4740 (IUPUI).

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Last modified on January 10, 2014.

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