[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Excell to PSPP direct?

From: Alan Mead
Subject: Re: Excell to PSPP direct?
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 09:42:18 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.3.0


What you're asking is not practical and perhaps impossible. Microsoft's Office formats are extremely complex. I don't know how SPSS reads them but I know it's very brittle. In the past, when I have saved data as an .XLS file using LibreOffice, SPSS has failed to import it. Also, Office 2010 has support for the Open Document Format that LibreOffice uses but when Word tries to open the .ODT files I create using LibreOffice, it reports them as "damaged" and needs to "recover" the file to open it.

If Microsoft and SPSS cannot handle these formats properly, it seems impractical to hope that a small, open-source project could possible solve these problems.

I second John's reply. I have LibreOffice and MS Office 2010 installed and I can use LibreOffice for virtually all the tasks I need to do. LibreOffice, BTW, is far superior in my experience in exporting CSV. It allows you to pick the character encoding, the delimiter, and the quoting. The nice thing about picking the encoding is it the language is English (i.e., if the data can be represented by ASCII) then I pick that and things like smartquotes are automatically converted. When I export CSV from Excel, I get an unholy mess of quoted and non-quoted data in whatever encoding Excel chooses.

One other suggestion, why not teach statistics entirely in Excel/LibreOffice Calc? That's what many business schools do in the US. Or, failing that, why not use SPSS/PSPP for all your needs? They're basically advanced spreadsheets where you put the equations into syntax instead of into the cells.

I do have a final suggestion that more directly addresses your question. I think you just have matters backwards. Microsoft is a multi-multi-multi-billion-dollar company with billions of dollars in reserves and literally an army of developers. If Microsoft decided to make it easy for third parties to read their formats, it would be practically feasible for them to do so. I suggest that you contact Microsoft and ask that they make their formats more interoperable or release open-source libraries for reading their file formats. The new CEO's name is Satya Nadella. I suggest you contact him directly.


On 2/14/2014 8:00 AM, Thambu David wrote:
Dear All
Is it possible for PSPP to directly import files from Excell without making 
them CSV-often this does not seem v straightforward
It would make implementing this as a SPSS alternate much easier
Most students and faculty are looking for a legal free alternate,but this is 
one area of difficulty
I hope the plan for this year could include this (if possible) being added to 
the to-do list
Thanks in advance

Dr Thambu David S
Professor and Head
Medicine Unit 2
Christian Medical College, Vellore
632004, India

Pspp-users mailing list

Alan D. Mead, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program
Department of Psychology
Lewis College of Human Sciences
Illinois Institute of Technology
3101 South Dearborn, 2nd floor
Chicago IL 60616

+312.567.5933 (Campus)
+815.588.3846 (Home Office)
+267.334.4143 (Mobile)
+312.567.3493 (Fax)

Announcing the Journal of Computerized Adaptive Testing (JCAT), a
peer-reviewed electronic journal designed to advance the science and
practice of computerized adaptive testing:

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]